News & Politics

UPDATED: Drone Hunting for Armed Suspect in Virginia

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire URN:24786548

Scroll to the bottom for the update.

On Friday morning, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office sent a drone to hunt down an armed suspect, officials said. The investigation is developing.

Police in the area also used a drone to catch a suspect this past June. That manhunt was aided by “unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, which tracked his movements overnight and into the morning.”

That suspect, 25-year-old Michael Pixley Jr., was charged with the armed robbery of a gas station. The drone chase led to his capture, after he robbed a second gas station.

Investigators in the chase Friday said it began with an investigation in a neighbhorhood on Arrowhead Drive near Garrisonville road. According to the Crime Mapping website partnering with the sheriff’s office, the suspect allegedly committed an act of vandalism.

This is a developing story, and will be updated.

Update: Drone pursuit stymied. 

On Monday, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office sent PJ Media an update on the chase.

“Our deputies were in the area of 7-11 near Lake Arrowhead early on Friday morning when they encountered the suspect who was wanted on a felony probation violation,” the office explained. “When the deputies tried to apprehend the suspect, he ran out of the store and into the woods.”

The deputies set up a perimeter in the woods, brought in dogs to guard it, and set up a drone. “They flew the drone for about an hour and a half before a large cloud cover rolled in and they had to suspend operations in order to remain in compliance with FAA regulations,” the statement added.

“The suspect is still at-large, but deputies do not believe he is a danger to the community.”

The sheriff’s office also told PJ Media there is no evidence to suggest the suspect is armed.