State Police: Oct. 16 Interstate 64 Augusta County shooting death was suicide

policecar3The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office is continuing its investigation into the fatal shooting incident that occurred Oct. 16, 2014, on Interstate 64 in Augusta County. Preliminary findings from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner indicate the manner of death as suicide. Once the investigation is complete, state police will turn its findings over to the Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney for final review and adjudication of the matter.

The incident began at approximately 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 2004, when a Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop on a Ford Windstar minivan traveling east on I-64 in Augusta County. The vehicle was driving erratically and caught the trooper’s attention. The minivan stopped on the right shoulder near the 89 mile marker.

The trooper approached the minivan and was obtaining the driver’s identification when the driver, Dennis G. Hoke Jr., 42, of Waynesboro, Va., displayed a firearm. The trooper immediately retreated to his patrol car to take cover.

Just as the trooper reached his car, an 8-year-old female passenger jumped out of the minivan screaming. The trooper ran to her aid and brought her back to his patrol car so she would be out of harm’s way.

Once back at his vehicle, the trooper heard a gunshot coming from the vehicle. The trooper immediately took cover for both himself and the girl, and then returned fire.

It was later determined, and then preliminarily confirmed by the medical examiner, that Hoke took his own life and died at the scene.

Neither the trooper nor the juvenile was injured.

The incident remains under investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s “Police Shooting Team” out of the Appomattox Field Office.

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