UPDATE: Woman dead, man in custody following police standoff in Mercer Co.

Police response closes Maple Acres Rd
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 11:47 PM EST
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MAPLE ACRES, W.Va. (WVVA) - UPDATE 9:40 a.m. Saturday: A woman is dead and a man is in custody, following an armed standoff with police in Mercer County, according to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and W.Va. State Police responded to a shots fired call on Maple Acres Rd. at approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday. According to Capt. Jesse J. Ruble, upon arrival at a residence in the 1900 block of Maple Acres Rd., officers attempted to make contact with 28-year-old Johnathan Norton of Virginia. In a press release, Capt. Ruble said Norton then fired several shots, before barricading himself in a residence and continuing to fire.

According to Capt. Ruble, as officers were attempting to get Norton to Surrender, they were advised that a female, later identified as 40-year-old Jessica Smith, had been shot by Norton. Officers rendered first aid until the Bluefield Rescue Squad’s arrival. Capt. Ruble reported Smith was then transported to Princeton Community Hospital where she was later pronounced dead from a single gunshot.

With the help of W.Va. State Police’s Special Response Team, Capt. Ruble reported Norton was taken into custody at Southern Regional Jail for charges including 2nd degree murder, eight charges of wanton endangerment and felon possession of a firearm. Norton is being held on a $200,000 bond.

The investigation is being led by Det. Lt. S.A. Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

A section of Maple Acres Rd. in Mercer County outside of Princeton was closed to traffic as of around 10:30 p.m. Friday due to a police response, according to Mercer County dispatch.

W.Va. State Police, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Dept. were on-scene Friday night.

Minimal details on the situation are available at this time. WVVA will work to provide updates as they become available.