Shenandoah National Park – Skyline Drive – Front Royal, VA – The investigation remains ongoing into the fatal shooting that took place on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park Sunday, March 8, 2009. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Park Service and Virginia State Police are conducting the joint investigation. Also assisting with the case is the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District and Fort Eustis officials.
At approximately 11:35 a.m. Sunday, the National Park Service and Virginia State Police attempted to stop a 1999 Ford minivan as it traveled southbound on Skyline Drive within the Shenandoah National Park. A pursuit ensued southbound and then northbound on Skyline Drive. The van finally stopped for police approximately 1/10 of a mile south of the exit for Route 340 in Warren County.
The driver of the minivan, Christopher N. Lanum, 25, of Fort Eustis, Va., was wanted by Fort Eustis officials for an attempted homicide that had occurred early Sunday morning at the military installation.
As the trooper and other law enforcement approached the stopped van, they observed a firearm in the driver’s possession. Shots were fired and Lanum was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger inside the minivan was injured during the shooting. The passenger’s injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Investigators are continuing with evidence collection and analysis, as well as awaiting lab results on toxicology and ballistics tests.
The trooper and park rangers involved in the shooting were placed Sunday on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of internal agency investigations into the matter, which is in accordance with standard Virginia State Police and National Park Service policies.