Man kills himself during traffic stop

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FRANKLIN—A Franklin man killed himself during a traffic stop in Isle of Wight County on Saturday, police said.

A family member identified the victim as 21-year-old Ezekiel Cohn.

Virginia State Police Trooper H.B. Johnson stopped Cohn for for allegedly speeding at about 7:15 p.m. on Business Route 58, or Carrsville Highway, at Bobcat Lane.

Bobcat Lane is just east of Business Route 58’s intersection with Route 258. There was no chase and the traffic stop seemed routine, according to Sgt. Michelle Anaya, a spokeswoman for the State Police.

“Before exiting his vehicle, Trooper Johnson heard a shot come from the vehicle,” she said.

Franklin police and rescue crews were called.

“Upon approaching the vehicle, they found the driver had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and he was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Anaya said.

There were no other passengers in the vehicle.

Police refused to identify the victim, citing an ongoing investigation.

Sharyn Hughes, Cohn’s adoptive mother in Suffolk, said he moved to Franklin when he turned 21, and had worked at the Armory Drive Dairy Queen for more than a year.

Hughes said Cohn’s mother died a few years ago.

“He was depressed,” Hughes said. “I think he just got to thinking about it too much. It was hard.”

Hughes said Cohn “really liked small-town life.”

“He loved it here. He loved the country. He loved his horses and dogs and his cat,” she said. “I think he knew that we all loved him.”