NORTON, VA – The man accused of shooting Norton Police Chief James Lane on May 7, 2021, has been indicted on 17 charges, including attempted murder.
James Buckland, 36 of Pound, appeared in a virtual hearing Monday to plead not guilty to the shooting.
A Wise County and Norton grand jury returned a 17-count indictment on August 18 against Buckland, adding 14 charges to the original three brought against him in May: attempted capital murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
James Buckland, 36 of Pound, faces 17 charges — including attempted capital murder of a police officer — after allegedly shooting into a vehicle driven by Norton Police Chief James Lane.https://t.co/s6CJeCGaN8
— WJHL (@WJHL11) August 23, 2021
Buckland’s newest charges include 12 felonies.
The charges are:
-brandishing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school (Central High)
-assault and battery of a law enforcement officer
-use of a firearm in the commission of felony assault and battery of a law enforcement officer
-aggravated malicious wounding of Lane
-use of a firearm in the commission of aggravated malicious wounding
-malicious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer
-use of a firearm in the commission of malicious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer
-shooting a firearm into a vehicle
-shooting a firearm in a street resulting in bodily injury to Lane
-reckless handling of a firearm with reckless disregard for human life and causing serious injury to Lane
-felony destruction of property belonging to the Norton City Police Department
-and use of a firearm in the commission of felony destruction of property.
The grand jury also returned two misdemeanor charges against Buckland, disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.
Norton Community Hospital dedicates 5K to Police Chief James Lane. 65 runners signed up for the event and raised more than $13,000 thousand in support of Chief Lane’s rehab. https://t.co/M1Vm09FLEM
— VA Chiefs of Police (@vachiefs) July 13, 2021
If convicted, Buckland faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp announced that Buckland’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 31 through Feb. 4, 2022.
The shooting happened near the Norton Walmart as Chief Lane was responding to a call reporting a shoplifter at a nearby business. Virginia State Police (VSP) reported:
“As Norton Police Chief James Lane pulled up to the parking lot, he encountered a male pedestrian. The man began shooting into the chief’s vehicle, striking the chief. The chief returned fire.”
TODAY Norton Police Chief James Lane was discharged for home after suffering serious gunshot wounds after being hit while responding to a report of shoplifting (Photos:Ballad Health). pic.twitter.com/zZkcUQW6g1
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) May 29, 2021
VSP said that another Norton officer, Sgt. Jason McConnell, also returned fire during the exchange. Both Chief Lane and Buckland suffered gunshot wounds and were flown to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.
Following the shooting, Wise County Sheriff Grant Kilgore told media:
“There were several units on the scene very quickly, helping secure the scene, helping provide first aid to both people that were shot, so with the tourniquets and things like that to stop the bleeding till rescue got here and they were transported.
“Today, we live in violent times. Law enforcement takes a beating every day, and we have some of the bravest men and women in the world right here in Wise County and every police department you want to look at who want to do the right thing to keep their communities safe.”
— VA Chiefs of Police (@vachiefs) May 11, 2021
On May 28, Chief Lane was discharged from the Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee, where he was airlifted after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
Buckland was also released following treatment of gunshot wounds. He remains held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield.
— SuperTalk 92.9 (@Supertalk929) May 8, 2021
Slemp cleared both officers in the shooting:
“To be clear, I have concluded that the officers involved in the shooting, namely Chief James Lane and Sgt. Jason McConnell, were justified in their actions. They acted in an appropriate manner in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Wise County and the City of Norton shall immediately conclude its investigation into this matter and recommend that both officers return to duty as soon as they are medically able to do so.”
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Report: Police chief ambushed, shot twice by felon while investigating shoplifting – still takes down the attacker
May 11, 2021
NORTON, VA— On Friday, May 7th, the Norton Police Chief was shot while responding to a call of a shoplifter.
According to reports, the shooting happened near the Norton, Virginia Walmart. The Virginia State Police reported that, Norton Police Chief James Lane was responding to a call about a shoplifter at a business on Commonwealth Drive.
In a release, the Virginia State Police said:
“As Norton Police Chief James Lane pulled up to the parking lot, he encountered a male pedestrian,”
The release went on to say:
“The man began shooting into the chief’s vehicle, striking the chief. The chief returned fire.”
The State Police noted that a Norton police officer also fired at the suspect, who has now been identified as 36-year-old James Dyer Buckland of Pound, Virginia. A handgun belonging to the suspect was recovered at the scene, VSP said.
Both Chief Lane and Buckland suffered gunshot wounds and were flown to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.
Wise County Sheriff Grant Kilgore said:
“There were several units on the scene very quickly, helping secure the scene, helping provide first aid to both people that were shot, so with the tourniquets and things like that to stop the bleeding till rescue got here and they were transported,”
“Today, we live in violent times. Law enforcement takes a beating every day, and we have some of the bravest men and women in the world right here in Wise County and every police department you want to look at who want to do the right thing to keep their communities safe,”
Buckland has been charged with attempted capital murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, WJHL reported.
Previous photo of James Dyer Buckland (Photo: Pound Police Dept.)
On Saturday, May 8th, Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine tweeted out in the morning that the teams at Norton Community Hospital and Johnson City Medical Center were working to help Chief Lane heal.
The @BalladHealth team is praying for @cityofnortonva Police Chief Lane, and for his family and colleagues. He was shot twice, and our team at Norton Community Hospital and Johnson City Medical Center’s trauma team are doing their work to help him and the community heal.
— Alan Levine (@alevine014) May 8, 2021
On Saturday afternoon, the City of Norton took to Facebook to thank everyone for their outpouring of support, and to announce that Police Chief Lane is in stable condition following surgery. The post then asked for prayers and support as Lane continues to heal.
Law Enforcement Today wishes Chief Lane a rapid recovery, and we will bring you updates in this case as they become available.
Last week, a police officer in Tennessee was shot in an ambush while responding to a fake police call. Here is more on that.
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