Police investigate hatchet attack at SW Virginia church

TROUTDALE, Va. — Virginia State Police is asking for tips in the investigation of a hatchet attack at a southwestern Virginia church Sunday night.

It happened at Burton’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, near Troutdale, in Grayson County. Police say about 20 people were inside worshiping Sunday night, when they heard banging on the front door.

An off-duty state trooper went to check it out, and found a man with a hatchet and a dog standing outside. The man then yelled at the officer and swung the hatchet at him, striking the back of his hand.

The trooper was able to close the door and directed the congregation to go to the church basement for safety. The man then left the property and has not been located since.

He is described as a white male in his 30s, with long brown hair. He stands approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and is of medium build.

Anyone with information about the man is asked to contact Virginia State Police at (276) 228-3131.

The officer sustained only minor scratches in the attack. No one else was injured.