VSP investigating officer-involved fatal shooting and murder in Danville

From Virginia State Police: DANVILLE, Va. – At the request of Danville Police, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office is investigating an officer-involved shooting and a homicide that occurred at a residence in the 1000 block of Halifax Road in the City of Danville.

The officer-involved shooting occurred shortly after midnight Jan. 7, 2018, when Danville Police responded to the residence for a “shots fired” emergency call. Upon the officers’ arrival, shots were fired from inside the house. Despite the Danville officers’ efforts to negotiate the shooter’s surrender, the male subject refused to cooperate, exited the residence and began shooting at the officers. One Danville officer returned fire and the male subject was shot. He died at the scene.

The male subject has been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for autopsy and examination. He has been identified as Richard R. Towler, 54, of Danville, Va., and lived at the residence where the shooting took place.

State police are also investigating the murder of a female that occurred inside the residence. The initial 911 call that came in to Danville Police was from a female claiming that a man inside the residence was shooting at her. The female has been identified as Crystal Lynn Averett, 38,             of Danville, Va.  Her remains have been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy.

Both incidents remain under investigation at this time.

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