Richmond police officers cleared of any wrongdoing in shooting

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Shoshannah Nunez - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Justified and appropriate.

That's how Richmond's top prosecutor describe the actions of officers involved in a weekend shootout  that left a murder suspect hospitalized.

On Wednesday morning an announcement was made that no charges will be filed against the officers.

Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney says police bent over backwards to avoid shooting Haywood Hendricks Junior - and that officers only fired after Hendricks failed to comply with several commands.

Six officers were involved in the firefight.

One from Chesterfield - five from Richmond.

"I  think they exemplified and carried out their duties appropriately," said Richmond Commwealth's Attorney, Michael Herring.

Officers went to East Ladies Mile Road in Richmond on Sunday to arrest Hendricks.

He was wanted in connection to the stabbing death of a Chesterfield woman.

During a standoff -- investigators say Hendricks kept walking toward officers.

He had a weapon in his hand and he refused at least ten commands to stop according to investigators.

"He gets to a distance of about 25 to 30 feet and the officers conclude at that time he's no longer at a point where they can indulge him any further," said Herring.

In all, officers fired between 18 and 20 shots.

Hendricks was hit in the torso three times.

Turns out,  the item Hendricks had in his hand was not a 9 millimeter pistol but a BB gun.

Hendricks did not fire the weapon.

"The fact that the gun was a bb gun changes the equation not one bit," said Herring.

The entire incident lasted only a few minutes.

The officers involved are now cleared of any wrongdoing.

'It's my determination that this shooting was justified - that it was appropriate," said Herring.

We visited the home of Hendricks' mother.   She would only say that her family is okay and that she could not comment further.

At this point it's unclear if Hendricks will face charges in Richmond for his involvement in the standoff.

" I don't want anything we do to interfere or delay the speedy prosecution of the matter in Chesterfield," said Herring.

That matter in Chesterfield is a first degree murder charge that Hendricks is facing.

Although Hendricks is recovering at VCU Medical Center a court date has been set for June 16th.