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Big Stone Gap officer and another found shot dead

From the Coalfield Progress -

A Big Stone Gap police officer is one of the two people found dead, with gunshot wounds, in a wrecked vehicle early Sunday morning March 10, 2019.

Big Stone Gap Police Officer Bailey Smith and his cousin Emeri Connery were found dead at the scene after a car accident on U.S. 23 in Lee County just outside of Big Stone Gap.

According to a Virginia State Police press release, a trooper responded to a call about an accident at 4 a.m. Sunday morning. Upon arrival at the crash scene, Trooper D.G. Giles discovered both victims deceased. Further investigation revealed that both victims had gunshot wounds. The bodies have been taken to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke for autopsy.

In a text message Sunday evening, Big Stone Gap Town Manager Stephen Lawson wrote: “This morning around 4 a.m. the BSG PD lost one of their own in an off duty vehicle accident in Lee County. Officer Bailey Smith was found dead at the scene. An investigation into the crash is being handled by Virginia State Police at this time.”

Smith had been with the town’s police department since January 2018. Lawson described Smith as someone who loved serving the community and being involved in law enforcement. “Our prayers go out to Bailey’s family and the BSG PD.”

State police ask that anyone with information regarding the incident call the VSP Wytheville Division at 276/228-3131 or email at

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