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Police officer fatally shot during confrontation with assault suspect in Virginia mountain town

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A Maryland man has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a police officer who was killed during a struggle with an assault suspect in a Virginia mountain town.

Virginia State Police said Daniel Barmak, 23, of Towson, Maryland, is charged with capital murder, two felony counts of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the killing of Officer Mark Christopher Wagner II Friday night in Nelson County’s Wintergreen community. Barmak is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

The shooting happened after an emergency call came into the Wintergreen Police Department about Barmak assaulting two other men at a home where they were all staying, state police said in a news release. After calling police, the two injured men, both 23, ran away.

Wagner, 31, was the first to arrive and encountered Barmak in the woods. During a struggle over Wagner’s department-issued handgun, Barmak shot and killed the officer, police said. Barmak was also shot during the encounter.

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Virginia police have charged a Maryland man who is responsible for a fatal shooting of a police officer. 

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Wintergreen Police and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office took Barmak into custody. He and the two men he allegedly assaulted were all taken to UVA Medical Center to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Wintergreen Police Chief Chief Dennis Russell said in a Facebook post that Wagner had been with the force since August 2020. He said Wagner enjoyed hiking and photographing nature in his spare time.

“Chris was dedicated to his job and whenever called for extra duty he was ready, willing and able. His love for the badge was evident and his commitment to the community was undeniable,” Russell said.

Wintergreen is about 100 mileswest of Richmond.

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