MARTINSVILLE, Va. – A Martinsville man has been charged with attempted capital murder after allegedly shooting a police officer during an exchange of gunfire in Henry County on New Year’s Day.
37-year-old Thomas Joe Braxton III is also charged with using a firearm in a felony, possession of a gun by a convicted felon, and eluding police.
Both Braxton and the officer were wounded and have since been released from the hospital.
The pursuit began about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 1 when a Martinsville police officer attempted to stop the driver of a pickup truck for a traffic violation. Braxton refused to pull over and a pursuit began. It ended when he jumped from the moving pickup on Theater Street in Henry County.
The truck crashed into an embankment and Braxton fled on foot. He was located behind the Glen Ridge Apartments, where police say he pulled a gun and began firing.
Officer Michael Panos was struck in the left arm. Other officers returned fire, striking Braxton. Both suffered non-life threatening wounds.
The incident is being investigated by Virginia State Police.