Man dies from self-inflicted stab wounds after fleeing from police in Bluefield, Va.

Nov. 6—BLUEFIELD, Va. — A fatal self-inflicted stabbing involving a shoplifter who fled from police is under investigation by the Bluefield, Va. Police Department.

The police department released a detailed statement Monday summarizing the event, which occurred Saturday, November 4, at approximately 5:50 p.m. in the area of College Avenue.

According to the police department statement, officials received a call regarding a male shoplifter who had fled from employees at Walmart in Bluefield, Va. The subject ran on foot from Walmart and crossed College Avenue and then onto College Drive.

The statement said the officers arrived on scene at College Drive and made contact with the individual who at this point was holding a knife in each hand.

"Officers produced their firearms and gave commands to the individual to drop the knives and get on the ground," the statement said. "The individual did drop one knife on the ground but then put the other knife to his chest and started backing away from the officers refusing to obey commands. The individual continued to back away a short distance until he came into contact with a retaining wall, officers continued to give commands and tried to persuade the individual to take the knife away from his chest. The individual proceeded to make statements indicating that he wanted to end his life."

A short time later the individual began stabbing himself multiple times in the chest, according to the report.

The police department statement said a taser was then deployed by an officer in an attempt to incapacitate the individual to prevent further self-harm.

"The individual was subdued long enough for officers to remove the knife from his hand and get him handcuffed," the statement added. "The officers immediately began life-saving measures and continued to do so until emergency services arrived on scene."

The individual died later Saturday night due to self-inflicted wounds, the statement said.

The statement added no lethal force was used by officers during the incident.

No other details regarding the incident were released Monday.

— Contact Charles Owens at

— Contact Charles Owens at Follow him @BDTOwens