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Suspect in deputies' deaths is identified

By CNN Wires Staff
Police officers work at the scene of a shooting that killed two deputies on Sunday in southwest Virginia.
Police officers work at the scene of a shooting that killed two deputies on Sunday in southwest Virginia.
  • NEW: Buchanan County community to honor deputies killed, wounded in line of duty
  • NEW: Suspect is identified as 52-year-old Randy Gilbert Newberry, state police say
  • NEW: The suspect was shot and killed after refusing police orders to surrender
  • NEW: Virginia State Police continue to search for a motive
  • Shootings
  • Police

Read more on the story from CNN affiliate WJHL.

(CNN) -- Virginia State Police say they have identified the gunman who fired a high-powered rifle at four county deputies, killing two of them, officials said Monday, but they still don't have a motive for the shootings.

Buchanan County Deputies Eric Dewayne Rasnake, 32, and Shane Earl Charles, 25, were shot multiple times after responding to a "larceny in progress" call at a salvage business in Vansant, Virginia, Sheriff Roy Foster said. The wounded deputies were able to crawl to a nearby residence for cover.

Deputies Cameron Neil Justus, 41, and William Ezra Stiltner, 46, were shot with the same high-powered weapon after they rushed to the scene to help their fallen comrades, police said.

Justus and Stiltner died at the scene.

"Please take comfort in knowing that their sacrifice was not in vain," an emotional Foster said Monday.

"These two men gave their lives for what they dedicated their lives to doing," Foster said.

On Monday, Virginia State Police named Randy Gilbert Newberry as the suspect in the shootings. Officials say the 52-year-old was hiding on a ridge when he fired at officers responding to both crime scenes.

After the shootings, officials said, they found Newberry about a quarter of a mile up the road from the salvage business, talking on a cell phone.

Police said they repeatedly asked Newberry to "put his hands up and get on the ground," but the suspect ignored their orders and instead aimed a handgun at officers.

According to the state police, Newberry was then shot and killed.

The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office is dealing with the tragic loss of its men while Virginia State Police tries to determine a possible motive.

Foster praised his officers for their valiant efforts in a difficult time. "I appreciate every single one of you that was there fighting for the lives of your fallen brothers," he said.

"It's been about 40 years since Buchanan County lost a man in the line of duty," Foster said, and "to lose two more and to have two more seriously injured in the same day is overwhelming."

Wounded deputies Rasnake and Charles both remain hospitalized. Rasnake was shot three times, according to Foster, and Charles is on a respirator. Both remain in critical condition.

"Our prayers go out to their families to the hope that they will recover and maybe one day return to wear the uniform that we so proudly wear," a tearful Foster said.

The close community is coming together in support of the fallen deputies. Local media report that a Facebook page has been set up to seek prayers for the deputies.

The site, which has more than 3,000 friends, is encouraging people to attend a candlelight service Monday night at the Buchanan County Courthouse.

Foster says churches will also be open for support and encouraged the community to come in and fellowship.