CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Authorities in West Virginia say a man who was fatally shot by deputies several days earlier was holding a paint spray gun and not a firearm.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that Randall Beymer threatened the deputies with a black “paint can gun.” Deputies described the sprayer as having a pistol-type grip and “a trigger assembly that closely resembled a handgun.”

The sheriff’s office said five deputies are on administrative leave as an internal investigation continues.

The office released its first statement last Sunday, a day after the shooting.

Deputies had received complaints about an armed man. Authorities say a standoff ensued, and deputies opened fire on the 62-year-old Beymer.

The office says Beymer lunged toward the closest officer, and deputies then shot him.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.