Roane County Sheriff releases more details about shooting

SPENCER — Last week, a Roane County man was fatally shot by a Roane County Sheriff’s deputy after responding to a call.

The deputy involved was later identified as Mike King and the victim who was killed was Michael Nichols, 63, according to Roane County Sheriff L. Todd Cole.

According to a statement from Cole, Nichols was believed to have been under the influence of a controlled substance and was reaching for a weapon.

“The suspect failed to comply with the officer’s direction, moved towards a weapon, and was shot by the deputy,” Cole said in the statement. “The suspect died as a result of his injuries.”

King and the Roane County Commission are defendants in a lawsuit filed last year over the February 2019 shooting death of 28-year-old Timmy Rhodes.

Media reports after the incident said Cole indicated Rhodes was shot after resisting being handcuffed and reaching for King’s weapon.

The suit claims Rhodes was shot in the face by King while on the ground in a defenseless position.

That suit also alleges previous incidents of excessive force by King.

The lawsuit ruling has been delayed pending the decision from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on a separate case with a potentially related issue in another county.

Calls to Cole and Captain Shallon Oglesby from the West Virginia State Police Department for confirmation of the victim and the deputy involved and additional comments were not returned.


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