Domestic call turns violent on Trooper

WVSP Injured Trooper

A veteran state trooper encountered a hostile situation when dispatched to an early morning call Tuesday in Lincoln County.  Corporal David Fry of the WVSP Hamlin Detachment was nearing the end of this shift when he responded to a domestic complaint at an apartment complex on Midway Road near the Lincoln-Kanawha County line, according to State Police Spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous.   “He could hear shouting from inside as he approached the apartment,” Baylous said Tuesday on MetroNews “Talkline.”  “The way the apartment was laid out he couldn’t see the male suspect inside, but he could see the female.  He was able to get her attention and get her to come out the door which most likely saved her life.”  Once the female fled the apartment, Fry came under a hail of gunfire from inside the apartment.  The suspect, identified as Jeremiah Yeager, 40, opened fire with a rifle.  Two of the shots struck Fry in the wrist and shoulder.  Earlier reports indicated Fry had also been shot in the leg.   Baylous said it turned out that report was inaccurate.  Fry returned fire as he retreated from the building.  “He returned fire at the suspect and it got to the point he was out of rounds in his pistol,” said Baylous.  “Because of the severity of his injury to his wrist, he didn’t have use of that hand and was unable to reload.”  Knowing he was in rural Lincoln County at 2 a.m. Fry realized backup would take a while, so he got into his cruiser and with two severe wounds began driving toward Charleston.  “Along the route he did encounter the female victim and tried to coax her into coming with  him,” Baylous said. “She was so frantic that she took off and hid in the woods or along the creek bank.”  Fry met the ambulance at the Southridge Shopping Center in Charleston and was transported on to CAMC via ambulance.  State police units responded to the scene where Yeager had barricaded himself inside the apartment.  State police incident response teams along with Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department deputies spent several hours attempting to establish communications with Yeager inside the home using robots normally deployed for explosive removal.  They were able to locate him in the bathtub of the apartment’s bathroom where the entry units were in position and did establish communication.  “He put the rifle aside, but he had a handgun still within reach which he was trying to conceal from the entry team,” Baylous explained.  “When they got in they did notice the handgun and there was a scuffle and they were able to take him into custody without injury to any other officers.Fry is being treated for his wounds and according to Baylous is doing remarkably well for the severity of the injuries.  He’s in serious, but stable condition.   The female victim is also being treated for her injuries suffered in the initial domestic violence incident and Yeager was taken to the hospital for evaluation for minor injuries he received during the apprehension.  Yeager is charged with domestic assault, domestic battery, malicious wounding, attempted murder on a police officer, obstruction, brandishing and strangulation.  He allegedly struck the woman several times with the gun.