Elkins Police Department Completes Review of Use of Force During Arrest of Jerry Lee Isner II
Chief Finds No Disciplinary Actions Warranted
Elkins W. Va., April 20, 2020: The Elkins Police Department (EPD) has completed its internal review of officers’ use of force during the arrest of Jerry Lee Isner II for the shooting of EPD Senior Patrolman Daniel T. Sayre last month.
“After examining all available information, the actions of the officers involved have been found to be reasonable given the circumstances,” said EPD Chief Travis Bennett. “It is my conclusion that no disciplinary actions are warranted.”
Video footage, witness and officer statements, 911 call logs, and other evidence was analyzed as part of the internal review, which is standard procedure after any use of force by an EPD officer.
Isner shot Officer Sayre twice before being taken into custody in an incident that began when officers from multiple agencies responded to a 911 call reporting a man walking city streets carrying a rifle.
Security-camera footage obtained from nearby homes and businesses shows Isner, in the minutes before police arrived, wandering a several-block area with the rifle in his hands, at one point shouldering it and appearing to take aim at someone or something off camera and otherwise handling the weapon with disregard for the safety of others.
Officers responding to this call contacted Isner in an alley between First Street and Second Street, behind the Jennings Randolph Federal Building, at around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.
“Officers ordered Isner to stop and put the rifle on the ground,” said Chief Bennett, in a statement released the day after this incident. “When Isner did not comply with these commands, officers deployed a taser in an attempt to control him. Isner subsequently opened fire, striking Senior Patrolman Daniel Sayre twice. Officers were unable to return fire due to the proximity of bystanders. No law enforcement officers discharged firearms during this incident.”
Sayre, who was hit in the arm and leg, was treated at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. Although Sayre’s injuries were not life threatening, he will require additional surgery and physical therapy that will prevent him from returning to active duty for about four months.