Foot pursuit ends with Morgantown man committing suicide, police say


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Police Department issued a release on Thursday, detailing that an early-morning foot chase with an individual ended with the man committing suicide.

The release stated that at approximately 2 a.m. on Thursday, officers of the Morgantown Police Department observed Robert Rye, 31, of Morgantown in the area of 600 Willey Street. The release stated that Rye was known by officers to have outstanding warrants through the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department and the New Jersey State Police Department.

Officers said that when they approached Rye, he fled on foot near Richwood Avenue. Officers pursued Rye on foot, observing him run between houses located on Richwood Avenue and Allen Avenue, the release stated. Police said a backpack and a firearm were located in the area officers last saw Rye.

The release stated that a K-9 officer was called to assist in the search for Rye, and tracked him to a crawl space that was accessed through a garage located on East Prospect Street. Officers said they entered the garage and could see Rye’s feet in the crawl space. Police said commands were given to Rye to exit the crawl space, but he refused.

The K-9 officer then told Rye he was preparing to release the dog, at which point Rye stated something to the effect of “Tell (name inaudible) I love her and goodbye,” according to the release. Officers said Rye then fired one shot and began moaning.

The release stated that officers assisted in removing Rye from the crawl space and began to administer first aid. Rye had a single gunshot wound to his chest, according to police. Officers said EMS personnel arrived on scene, and Rye was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

Officers said the scene was processed, evidence was collected and notification was made to Rye’s family.

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