LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Virginia Inmate Escapes Hospital, Kills Deputy


Blacksburg police say the man they believe shot and killed a Montgomery County deputy this morning has been taken into custody. The announcement came in the middle of a news conference of police and Virginia Tech officials shortly after 3:30 this afternoon.

Corporal Eric Sutphin was shot and killed while participating in a massive manhunt for an escaped prisoner who had shot and killed a hospital security guard hours earlier. The suspect had overpowered another deputy after being taken to Montgomery Regional Hospital for leg injuries. He was able to obtain control of the deputy's service weapon and then shot and killed an unarmed hospital security guard who had attempted to assist the deputy.

The suspect fled from the scene and was the subject of a massive manhunt. Corporal Sutphin was shot and killed when he encountered the suspect near the head of the Huckleberry Trail in Blacksburg. The suspect was apprehended approximately 8 hours later.

On May 9, 2003, Corporal Sutphin was shot and wounded after being the first officer to arrive at an officer down in which Officer Scott Hylton, of the Christiansburg Police Department, was shot and killed. The suspect opened fire on Corporal Sutphin as he arrived at the scene. Corporal Sutphin returned fire as the suspect fled, and then pursued him, along with two other responding officers. The suspect was shot and killed by Corporal Sutphin and the other officers after firing at them. Corporal Sutphin received the Commonwealth of Virginia's Medal of Valor award for his actions in stopping the suspect.

Corporal Sutphin had served in law enforcement for 13 years. He is survived by his wife and twin daughters.