Churches targeted: Police officer wounded after man turns up with hatchet at church door

Gregory D. Graham, 31 of Marion, has been named by Virginia State Police as the suspect arrested in this case.

In yet another incidence of violence at a peaceful church, a man has been arrested for swinging a hatchet at a house of worship and wounding a Virginia State Police trooper.

According to, Virginia State Police said people were gathered inside a church in Troutdale, Va. on the evening of Sept 27 when someone banged on the doors. When an off-duty state trooper who was attending the church opened the door he found a man standing outside with a dog.

When the trooper asked if he could help the man yelled at him, and when he tried to close the door the man swung a hatchet and hit the trooper in the back of his hand.

The officer, who closed the door and told everyone to get into the church basement, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. No one else at the church was hurt.

Police say the man and his dog left the property, but could still be heard yelling and howling.

After a search that lasted nearly two days, Gregory D. Graham, 31 of Marion, was arrested in the case. Police received information that led them to Graham’s home, where he was arrested without incident.

Graham is charged with one count of malicious wounding and is being held without bond at the New River Regional Jail. Additional charges are pending.


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