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Gun found in fatal chase

Investigators found a handgun inside the car involved in a high-speed police pursuit and deadly crash in southern Fauquier County late Monday night, according to the Virginia State Police.

Police said no gun was found initially in the case that has involved several bizarre twists.

The police chase ended with a crash near Bealeton. The driver of the suspect vehicle, Corey M. Chamberlain, was ejected when the car flipped along U.S. 17. He was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died.

Doctors later told police that the 24-year-old Fauquier resident had suffered what appeared to be a gunshot wound. That prompted investigators to return to the crash scene, where a separate crash involving a suspected drunken driver happened.

The police chase involving Chamberlain started at 10 p.m. Monday when his 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse was tailgating a marked Fauquier County Sheriff’s cruiser on Dumfries Road north of Warrenton, according to the Sheriff’s Office and state police, both of which are investigating the incident.

The deputy turned onto southbound U.S. 29, and the suspect followed the cruiser.

Chamberlain, according to the Sheriff’s Office, “continued to tailgate the marked cruiser, then abruptly swerved into the left lane and passed at a high rate of speed.”

The deputy tried to stop the Eclipse, but the car continued on the highway, reaching speeds over 100 mph, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The pursuit continued through Opal and onto southbound U.S. 17. The chase ended when the Eclipse swerved into the median near Liberty High School in Bealeton and overturned several times in the northbound lanes.

Chamberlain was ejected from the car and ended up on the roadside.

Deputies treated the man until medics arrived, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The state police returned to the crash scene early Tuesday morning after doctors told them about the gunshot wound, according to state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

That’s when the case took another strange, and dangerous turn.

At 5:22 a.m., while the state police were searching the crash scene for additional evidence including a gun, a northbound car driven by a Fauquier man ran off the highway and struck a cruiser, which had its emergency lights on, Geller said.

Investigating trooper J.T. Price was in the cruiser and suffered minor injuries.

The driver of the car, 55-year-old Joseph R. Jenkins, was not injured.

He was charged with driving under the influence and failing to switch lanes for stopped emergency vehicles. He was incarcerated at the Fauquier jail.

Anyone with information on the Chamberlain case is asked to call the state police at 540/829-7400.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436