Area reels after trooper’s death

Published 10:42 am Thursday, February 7, 2019

Area police and community members are reeling following the death of Lucas B. Dowell, a Virginia State Police Trooper, in Cumberland on Monday.

Individuals placed flowers and a wreath at a Virginia State Police vehicle parked at the Farmville Police Department in the Town of Farmville.

A suspect, Corey Johnson, 44, also died during the incident. Johnson was a resident of the home at 1532 Cumberland Road outside the Town of Farmville, and reportedly began shooting when police made entry.

Trooper Lucas B. Dowell

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Dowell, 28, was a member of the Virginia State Police Tactical Team and graduated the Virginia State Police’s 122nd Basic Session in November 2014.

Dowell was assisting the Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with executing a search warrant at the residence, according to state police. The Tactical Team made entry into the home shortly before 10 p.m. Monday when a male subject inside the residence began shooting at them.

A release from Virginia State Police cited that The Tactical Team members returned fire, fatally wounding the male subject.

Dowell was transported to Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville where he succumbed to his injuries, Virginia State Police said in a release. Trooper Dowell becomes the Department’s 66th line of duty death. Dowell, a Chilhowie native, is survived by his parents and sister. A visitation and funeral are scheduled Friday and Saturday in Chilhowie. A release from Virginia State Police cites that donations can be made to the Virginia State Police Association – Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) in lieu of flowers. Contributions can be made online at

Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force spans Buckingham, Prince Edward, Cumberland and Farmville. Members of Farmville Police Department, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Longwood University Police Department and Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident at 1532 Cumberland Road and throughout the investigation.

Farmville Police Department Chief A.Q. “Andy” Ellington said during a Farmville Town Council work session Wednesday that counseling would be available to police officers.

In a statement by Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV, he spoke about the impact that Dowell’s death has had in Virginia, at Virginia State Police and in the community.

“This is a tragedy for all of the Farmville community and the Commonwealth and a grievous one for the law enforcement community,” a portion of Reveley’s statement cited. “Our own campus police work closely alongside the other members of this task force, and our thoughts are with them on this tragic day. Please say a special word of thanks and condolence to officers you may see today and in the days ahead, as we hold Trooper Dowell and his loved ones in our hearts.”

Cumberland County Sheriff Darrell Hodges said the best thing people can do to support area police during this time is to continue to pray.

“We are all grateful for the outpouring of support, the prayers and thoughts of everyone have been just unbelievable in this tough time,” Hodges said. “Continue to pray and to keep us in their thoughts.”

Buckingham County Sheriff William “Bill” Kidd said representatives of the sheriff’s office have been in a state of shock following Dowell’s death. Kidd asked that people pray for Dowell’s family and everyone involved.

“Know that this task force is out here working for the benefit of everybody,” Kidd said. “Drugs are behind a lot of the problems we have.”

Area businesses have reported holding specials and will donate proceeds to support Dowell’s family.