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Police release the names of officers involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Roanoke Police have released the names of the two officers involved in Saturday’s shooting of a suspect.

Police say Sergeant M. Mulligan, a 12-year veteran, and Officer J. Coles, a five-year veteran, shot and killed Travis Taurean Martin, 41, of Roanoke. He died at the scene of the shooting on Hershberger Road on June 8, 2024.

“Any death is deeply tragic for this community, regardless of the circumstances,” said Roanoke Police Chief Scott Booth. “My thoughts are with this man’s family and loved ones as they cope with this loss. We encourage anyone in the community needing resources or support to contact our Emergency Support for Trauma Rapid Engagement (RESET) team for assistance. This can be done by calling our RESET coordinator at (540)853-5304. I have full confidence in the Virginia State Police team working on this incident and know it will be a fair trial for all involved.”

Police said the officers were not injured and are on administrative leave in accordance with department policy.

According to police, the incident began when Roanoke police responded around 8:30 a.m. Saturday to reports of a man shouting threats at police officers outside the Roanoke Police Department. Police say the same man called 911 threatening to kill all Roanoke police officers. Roanoke police obtained warrants for menacing on public airways and began searching for the man, identified as Martin.

According to police, after allegedly damaging an officer’s vehicle in a neighboring jurisdiction at 11:40 a.m., officers obtained a property damage warrant and continued the search for Martin. Martin was then found at a business in the Valley View area around 1:30 p.m., when officers pursued him.

According to police, police initiated a traffic stop in the 2900 block of Hershberger Road, where Martin stopped in the turn lane at the intersection of Hershberger Road and Ferncliff Avenue.

Police say Martin struck the police car several times with a weapon believed to be a hatchet or hatchet, then advanced with the weapon toward officers, forcing police to fire. Roanoke Fire-EMS pronounced Martin dead.