By Associated Press - Saturday, May 8, 2021

NORTON, Va. (AP) - A suspect and a southwest Virginia police chief were seriously injured in an exchange of gunfire Friday, authorities said.

James Lane, police chief of the small city of Norton, was responding to a 911 call about a shoplifter Friday afternoon when he pulled into a shopping center parking lot and encountered a man who began shooting into his vehicle, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.

The chief returned fire. Another Norton Police officer who had just arrived on scene also fired at the man, according to a news release from Virginia State Police.

Both Lane and the suspect, identified as James Dyer Buckland, 35, of Pound, were flown to hospitals for treatment of serious injuries.

Police said a handgun belonging to Buckland was recovered at the scene. He’s been charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Local officials issued statements of support for Lane, who the newspaper reported has been with the city for over two decades.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Division is investigating.

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