Covington, VA – A Covington police officer was fatally shot on Monday night as he responded to a domestic incident at a gas station that left two other men dead.
The incident began at about 4:30 p.m. on March 14 when 42-year-old Toney Poulston, Jr. went into the Farm & Fuel gas station located on North Allegheny Avenue to confront 64-year-old Randall Lee Paxton, a relative who worked at the store, WTVR reported.
Virginia State Police said that Covington police officers and Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies responded to the store after someone called and reported Poulston’s “erratic and escalating” behavior.
Authorities said the confrontation escalated quickly and Poulston pulled out a gun and shot Paxton, WTVR reported.
Poulston was armed and leaving the store when law enforcement arrived at the gas station.
A gunfight ensued and a Covington police officer was fatally shot, WTVR reported.
Poulston was also killed during the exchange of gunfire.
Paxton’s wife was also inside the store when her husband was shot, but she was not injured, WTVR reported.
Virginia State Police said no other customers, employees, or law enforcement officers were injured during the incident.
All three bodies were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke, WTVR reported.
The Covington Police Department has not yet released the identity of its fallen hero.
Virginia State Police will be heading up the investigation into the incident, WDBJ reported.
“At the request of City of Covington Police Chief Christopher J. Smith, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office is investigating the line of duty death of his police officer and of Mr. Paxton,” the state police said in a statement. ‘At the request of Chief Smith and Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin W. Hall, the VSP BCI Salem Field Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting.”
Virginia Governor Glen Youngkin posted condolences online Tuesday morning.
The First Lady and I are devastated by the tragic loss of a Covington Police Officer,” Youngkin tweeted. “This serves as a reminder that law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the fallen officer during this difficult time.”