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Man faces prison time after violent cemetery encounter with deputy

Posted at 5:15 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 23:33:02-04

Michael T. Rowe

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- A man faces five years in prison after he was convicted in a violent encounter with a Louisa County Sheriff's Deputy in a cemetery. Michael T. Rowe, 22, of Louisa, was convicted of felony assault of a police officer in connection to the April 6 incident.

"Rowe walked to a cemetery where at least one family member is interred. He carried weapons and called 911 asking for an officer to respond. When the Louisa Deputy responded, Rowe told him how he was upset about his court problems involving family members. The Deputy used his Crisis Intervention Team Training to try calm Rowe down and asked him drop his knife. As the discussion unfolded over several minutes Rowe mentioned he possessed a gun and the Deputy needed to shoot him," a Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney spokesperson said. "The Deputy said that was not going to happen, but Rowe pulled out a handgun and charged the Deputy with the knife in one hand and the handgun in the other. The Deputy had no choice but to discharge his weapon at Rowe. Deputies and EMTs treated Rowe and he survived his injuries."

Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire addressed Rowe's mental health struggles.

"It is sad some people facing mental health problems choose to use police as their weapon of choice," he said. "They are so consumed with trauma they don’t think of the psychological impact thrust on officers and their families. I have seen the emotional scars on officers and it is simply too much. We hope those facing mental health issues or their family members will reach out for professional help instead of grabbing a weapon and calling law enforcement."

Rowe, who apologized to the officer after the shooting, will be to be sentenced in October.