Morgantown Police Foot Chase Ends with Individual Committing Suicide
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 12, officers of the Morgantown Police Department observed Robert Rye, 31 of Morgantown, in the area of 600 Willey Street. Mr. Rye was known by officers to have outstanding warrants through the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department and the New Jersey State Police Department.
When officers approached Rye, he fled on foot toward the area of Richwood Avenue. Officers pursued Rye on foot, observing him run between houses located at Richwood Avenue and Allen Avenue. A backpack and a firearm were located in the area officers last saw him.
A K-9 officer was called to assist in the search for Rye. The K-9 tracked Rye to a crawl space accessed through the garage of 451 East Prospect Street. Officers entered the garage and could see Rye’s feet in the crawl space. Commands were given to Rye to exit the crawl space but were refused. The K-9 officer told Rye he was preparing to release the dog at which point Rye stated something to the effect of, “tell (name inaudible) I love her and goodbye”. Rye then fired one shot. After the shot was fired, Rye began moaning.
Officers assisted in removing Rye from the crawl space and began to administer first aid. Rye had a single gunshot wound to his chest. EMS personnel arrived on scene and Rye was transported to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.
The scene was processed, and evidence was collected. Notification was made to Rye’s family.
Authority – Interim Chief Eric Powell
Morgantown Police Department