A suspect identified as Michael B. Lilly, age 39 of Salem, is in custody after a vehicle chase on Wednesday, Sept. 8, that included shots being fired at police officers and units in pursuit from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Christiansburg Police Department, the Salem Police Department, and the Virginia State Police.
The pursuit ended when Lilly crashed his vehicle and was transported to LewisGale Medical Center in Salem for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.
Law enforcement accompanied EMS to the hospital due to the danger Lilly posed to the community and have been sitting with him at the hospital since. Given that Lilly’s medical condition prohibits transporting him to a magistrate’s office, warrants have been obtained but have not yet been served for the following charges: §18.2-25/18.2-31 Attempted Aggravated Murder of Police Officer—6 counts (Class 2 Felony); §46.2-817 Elude Police—1 count (Class 6 Felony); §18.2-382 Brandishing a Firearm—1 count (Class 1 Misdemeanor) and §46.2-862 Reckless Driving—1 count (Class 1 Misdemeanor).
No officers fired their weapons, and no officers were hit by Lilly’s gunfire.
Wednesday’s pursuit began at approximately 2:36 p.m., and the Lilly was taken into custody at the conclusion of pursuit around 2:58 p.m.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call Wednesday at about 2:25 p.m. from the Elliston Food Mart at 9311 Roanoke Road reporting a suspect brandishing a firearm at employees. The office then alerted the Christiansburg Police Department of the incident.
According to police reports, Lilly drove away from the scene into the Town of Christiansburg in a small silver SUV where Christiansburg police attempted to stop the vehicle. He brandished a firearm at the officer and fled in the vehicle. Officers pursued Lilly’s vehicle across the bypass to the Spradlin Farms area where he turned around and drove back across the bypass to I-81.
The pursuit eventually exited I-81 at exit 137 in Salem and continued toward downtown Salem before turning onto Mill Lane and then Riverside Drive where Lilly crashed. At several points during the pursuit, Lilly fired multiple shots out of his vehicle window toward officers.
The Christiansburg Police Department may place additional charges after the investigation is concluded. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Salem Police Department are investigating and may place additional charges in their respective jurisdictions as well.