August 29, 2022
News Release | AP
CHARLESTON, WV - Law enforcement in West Virginia’s capital have released the name of a man who was fatally shot by officers last weekend after he killed a police dog, identifying him as a man facing an active felony warrant.
Samuel Paul Ranson, 50, was shot by police after officers responded to a call at a home in Charleston around 11:10 p.m. Saturday, Charleston police said.
When officers arrived, Ranson fled from the home and headed toward the wood line, Police Chief James “Tyke” Hunt said at a news briefing Monday. As officers pursued him, Ranson took out a gun and shot and killed the police dog. Officers returned fire, according to Hunt.
Authorities said Ranson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Hunt told reporters that Ranson was facing an active felony warrant on malicious wounding charges and should not have had a firearm. He said Ranson shot the police dog when he was within “arms reach” of two police officers.
“When all of this went down, and a gunshot goes off, it’s hard to tell where or who that round was intended for,” he said.
Hunt said the police dog named Axel was one of six canines working with the police station. The dog was born in the Czech Republic and was brought to the department in early 2021 from a kennel in North Carolina, Hunt added.
“It is a tragic, very tragic event because we have two losses of life,” he said. “I never want to see any loss of life in the city of Charleston. Even for the family members of the offender, you know that’s still someone’s son, brother, grandchild. But for us, your police department, we lost an officer.”
Hunt said the department will submit its full report on the shooting to the Kanawha County prosecutor’s office.