A Roanoke, Virginia police officer sustained life-threatening injuries Sunday after being shot by a suspect in a deadly stabbing. The suspect was subsequently shot dead.

A Virginia police officer was shot and seriously wounded in an exchange of gunfire that fatally injured a suspect in a stabbing death, officials said.

Roanoke police officers who went to a home on Lawrence Avenue Southeast on Sunday morning for a well-being check, found a man with stab wounds and he was pronounced dead on the scene, police said in a statement. A suspect was identified almost immediately and around 4 p.m., police said officers tried to stop him on Melrose Avenue Northwest. The man fired towards the officers and in an exchange of gunfire, the suspect and one officer were struck, police said.

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The suspect was pronounced dead and the officer who was struck was taken to a hospital with injuries that appeared to be serious and life-threatening, police said. The officer had been released from surgery and was in critical condition, but she is doing “much better than we initially thought,” Police Chief Scott Booth said at a news conference on Sunday night.

Virginia crime graphic

A suspect was reported dead and a police officer seriously injured following a shootout in rural Virginia. 

Virginia State Police will investigate the shooting and the officers involved will be placed on routine administrative leave, Booth said. Roanoke police will continue to investigate the homicide on Lawrence Avenue, he said.

Booth said he watched body-worn camera footage of the shooting and it shows that officers “acted heroically” when they approached the suspect and he fired upon them.

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The suspect was a 39-year-old white man, Booth said, but his name was not released. The names of the officers involved will be released once they have had a chance to notify their families, he said.

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