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Four charged after early morning pursuit through Kanawha, Putnam counties

Court records say Shawn Kenneth Martin, 30, of South Charleston is charged with fleeing, possession of a stolen vehicle and warrant for a prior offense. (South Central Regional Jail)

Four people are in custody after an early morning police chase that started in South Charleston and ended in Nitro.

Shawn Kenneth Martin, 30, of South Charleston is charged with fleeing, possession of a stolen vehicle and a warrant for a prior offense, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. Martin is accused of leading multiple agencies on a chase that began about 1 a.m. Monday near the Montrose exit off Interstate 64.

Three others who were inside the vehicle were charged with obstructing. Their names were not released.

According to a criminal complaint, a South Charleston police officer was on patrol near the Montrose entrance ramp on I-64 near the 56-mile marker, targeting westbound traffic with a radar at about 1 a.m. The officer noticed a silver BMW traveling 78 mph in a 60 mph speed zone. The officer pulled out to attempt to catch up to the vehicle but it did not slow down. Once police lights were activated near the 55-mile marker, the vehicle started to speed up.

When passing an exit ramp near mile 54, the BMW, driven by Martin, changed to the middle lane and drifted into the right lane, almost sideswiping another vehicle, the complaint said, and continued west, swerving and almost striking other vehicles.

Nitro police set up near the first Nitro exit ramp with stop sticks, the complaint said. The BMW exited at that ramp and turned north on Route 25. Police said Martin crossed the median and traveled north in the southbound lanes.

The South Charleston police officer turned off the cruiser's lights and siren once on Route 25, and Martin moved back into the northbound lane and reduced speed, the complaint said.

After traveling through the Cross Lanes Drive and Route 25 intersection, the officer lost sight of Martin’s vehicle around a curve and then noticed the BMW sitting sideways in the road after the curve. Martin was running from the driver’s side of the vehicle, the complaint said.

Martin was caught behind a mobile home on top of a nearby hill and detained at the South Charleston Police Department headquarters, the complaint said.

Police said a shot was fired by a Putnam County sheriff's deputy in the Rock Branch area at some point during the pursuit.

Martin is currently being held in the South Central Regional Jail.

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