Preliminary review, use of force was appropriate - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Preliminary review, use of force was appropriate in police shooting

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We've uncovered new information tonight about a police shooting that left a murder suspect hospitalized. It happened Sunday morning on East Ladies Mile Road in Richmond's northside. The suspect, Haywood Hendricks Jr., remains in stable condition tonight. 

The deputy commonwealth's attorney said late this afternoon, in this early stage of the investigation, it appears those officers acted appropriately and the shots they fired were justified. 

Six officers were involved in the firefight - one from Chesterfield, five from Richmond. Their target, Haywood Hendricks Jr. 

"At any point of an officer is in fear for his safety or safety of others they're authorized to use force - up to an including lethal force," said Tracy Thome-Begland, Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney. 

Today the commonwealth's attorney's office, revealed that 18 to 20 shots were fired, and that preliminary results indicate the use of force by police was appropriate. 

"He was armed at the time with what appeared to be a pistol and he ignored numerous commands by officers to drop the weapon," said Thome-Begland. 

Hendricks was wanted by police in connection to the stabbing death of a woman in Chesterfield.   

"He had a history of violence - outstanding warrants at that point I think officers felt they had no other options other than to use the force they did," he said. 

Hendricks was hit several times. He's in stable condition at VCU Medical Center. As for the six officers involved in the shooting… 

"All of these officers are suspended - on administrative leave at this point pending the outcome of this investigation," said Thome-Begland. "It's normal policy." 

At this point the commonwealth's attorney's office says it's unclear "who" fired first. 

"It's the last thing we want to see is an officer draw down on another citizen but in cases where lives are in danger it's a use that  has to be made sometimes," Thome-Begland said. 

Again the commonwealth's attorney's office says its "justifiable shooting" decision is preliminary. No word yet on when a final decision on the matter will be made.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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