MURDER USA: Daniel Barmak charged with murder of Wintergreen Police Officer Mark Christopher Wagner II



NELSON CO., Va. – A Maryland man has been arrested for assaulting two men and fatally shooting a police officer Friday night in Nelson County’s Wintergreen community. The Virginia State Police has charged Daniel M. Barmak, 23, of Towson, Md., with capital murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and two felony counts of malicious wounding.
Barmak is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. The incident began shortly after 10 p.m. Friday (June 16, 2023) when an emergency call came into the Wintergreen Police Department about Barmak assaulting two other adult males at the residence they were all staying at on Arrowood Lane, WINTERGREEN, VA.

After calling police, the two injured males fled the residence on foot.
The two 23-year-old males were both transported to UVA Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Wintergreen Police Officer M. Christopher Wagner II, 31, was the first to arrive at the residence. He encountered Barmak in the woods and a struggle ensued. During the struggle over Wagner’s department-issued handgun, Barmak shot and killed the officer.
Barmak was also shot during the encounter. Wintergreen Police and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office took Barmak into custody without further incident.
Barmak was transported to UVA Medical Center for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury sustained during the incident.
Inside the residence, state police recovered illegal narcotics. Wagner’s department-issued handgun was recovered at the shooting scene in the woods.
Wagner’s remains have been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner for examination and autopsy. At the request of Wintergreen Police Chief Dennis Russell, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office is investigating the incident.

TRIBUTE TO Chris Wagner

Mark Christopher Wagner II “Chris”, was a dedicated Officer who served the Wintergreen community with honor. On June 16th, 2023 Chris answered his final call before taking his place with other heroes who have gone before him by laying down his life for the people he swore to protect and serve.

Wintergreen-Officer-M.-Christopher-Wagner-murdered-by-Towson-resident Daniel Barmak.

Chris, was thirty-one years old, a 2010 graduate of Spotswood High School, he was a resident of Stuarts Draft. Chris is survived by his immediate family and the men and women who were his Wintergreen Police family.

Chris started his career at Wintergreen in August of 2020. Previously he served seven years with the Massanutten Police Department starting out as a Gate Attendant and then becoming a Police Officer after graduating from the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Academy in May of 2019.

Chris asked for and worked the midnight shift. Whenever you saw Chris in the daylight, he wore dark dark sunglasses and would crack a smile or two. Chris was dedicated to his job and whenever called for extra duty he was ready, willing, and able. His love for the badge was evident and his commitment to the community was undeniable.

Chris was an avid outdoorsman, spending his off-time hiking and photographing nature. Chris is remembered for always going out of his way to cheer others up and his infectious laugh was loud and echoed throughout the office.

Chris was the Agency’s TASER and BolaWrap instructor. His father, holding back tearful emotions, remarked that Chris was like Batman and was reminded of recently gifting him a batarang to go with all the tools Chris carried on his belt.

Chris Wagner, Wintergreen Police Officer ID #15, was and always will be a hero.

Written with a heavy heart by Dennis Russell, Chief of Police.


The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, in cooperation with Wintergreen Police Chief Dennis Russell, is organizing this fundraiser for the family of fallen officer Chris Wagner. As Wintergreen Police Department is a private police department in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Officer Wagner’s family is not eligible for line-of-duty death benefits from the state.


“The Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney is working with the Virginia State Police during the ongoing criminal investigation. We extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Officer Wagner’s family, the Wintergreen Police Department, and the Wintergreen community. The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office is committed to pursuing a just and legal resolution to this case.”


Wintergreen Police

Because of their extensive training, professional standards and proven professional performance, Wintergreen police are recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia as full-authority law enforcement officers. The sworn personnel have the same required training and legal responsibilities as any municipal or government police.

See statistics from WTG police
See statistics from WTG police

The Wintergreen Police Department is the only private police agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia to have obtained a Certificate of Accreditation through the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission as a state-accredited law enforcement agency.

Patrol officers work with local jurisdictions such as the National Park Service, Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Virginia State Police.

Through an agreement between the Nelson County Sheriff and the Wintergreen Chief, Wintergreen officers are appointed as special deputies for Nelson County.

All patrol officers and communications personnel graduate from approved criminal justice academies and attend in-service training as required by state guidelines, re-qualifying annually with all firearms. 

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