Suspect Dies Following Standoff

A 38-year-old suspect died at Carillion Stonewall Jackson Hospital Monday night following a twohour standoff with law enforcement in the Timber Ridge area of Rockbridge County.

Police believe Alberto Jose Cornejo-Alvarez, a resident of Staunton, to have died from complications related to hypothermia after Cornejo hid from police in a culvert pipe that Mill Creek runs through Monday afternoon. Cornejo was transported to Carillion Stonewall Jackson Hospital following the standoff with police and died around 9 p.m.

According to a statement issued by the sheriff’s office, Cornejo was a wanted subject in Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro for multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.

On Monday, investigators from the Skyline Drug Task Force, which serves the Augusta County area, located Cornejo in Timber Ridge. When Rockbridge deputies and drug task force officers pursued the suspect, Cornejo reportedly fled on foot to hide in a culvert pipe in front of the Days Inn by Wyndham Lexington hotel. Officers were informed Cornejo was armed at the time. Because of this, an alert was sent to residents warning folks near Timber Ridge to stay indoors.

Once Cornejo was holed up in the pipe, deputies reportedly attempted to convince him to exit and he refused to cooperate. According to the sheriff’s office statement, Cornejo was visibly moving within the storm drain during the standoff with law enforcement, which lasted approximately two hours. After a period of time, officers

After a period of time, officers could no longer detect Cornejo’s movement and entered the pipe in an attempt to rescue him from the cold water. The sheriff’s office describes the deputies’ actions as taken at a great risk to themselves, as Cornejo was known to have been armed.

Deputies removed Cornejo from the pipe and began life saving measures, including CPR. He was soon after transported to Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital for medical treatment where he died later that night.

Cornejo’s body has been transported to Roanoke to be assessed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. A final determination of his death will be announced once the office has completed their investigation.

The News-Gazette

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