Officers identified in mall incident

The two officers from the Parkersburg Police Department involved in a fatal shooting at the Grand Central Mall on Tuesday were identified on Thursday.

They were Detective P.M. Edelen, who fired his weapon, and Detecive J.M. Stalnaker, who was dragged by the car, Police Chief Joe Martin said.

The incident occurred around 1 p.m. Tuesday starting in the Food Court at the mall where police officers from the region were in a training exercise. The two officers saw a purse snatching and chased the suspect into a parking lot where he got into a car driven by Steven Pflazgraf, 24, Parkersburg.

An officer attempted to stop the car by taking the keys out of it, however, the driver continued, dragging the officer with him. After the officer freed himself from the car, the driver pointed the vehicle toward the other officer and accelerated.

At that point the officer fired at the car, killing Pfalzgraf, the driver.

Two other people in the car, John and Jenna Ragalyi of New Matamoras, ran away, later surrendering to police. John Ragalyi is the suspected purse snatcher, said Sgt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police, the investigating agency.

The Ragalyis were released, but either felony or misdemeanour charges are pending, depending on what Prosecutor Jason Wharton says, Baylous said.

Read the entire story in The News and Sentinel on Friday.