Man arrested after running down pedestrians, firing on officer

By Laura Geller - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond man is behind bars after police say he hit a pedestrian with his vehicle and later fired a weapon at an officer.

This all started around 9:00 Saturday night when police say 27-year-old Bryan Keeton deliberately drove into a crowd of pedestrians at the White Oak Village Shopping Center on Laburnum Avenue.

He then drove a few miles away to the Eastern Government Center and started an armed confrontation with police.

Henrico police arrested Bryan Keeton at the government center after officers were finally able to subdue him.

He's now facing several charges including malicious wounding of a pedestrian, attempted malicious wounding of an officer, reckless driving and hit and run.

Orange police markings, the only evidence left after a bizarre scene at the eastern government center.

It was dark out when an officer who had just gassed up his cruiser at the refueling station spotted a man dressed in all black standing next to a Henrico security car.

No one should have been there.

"With the officer by himself, I'm sure it was an anxious two or three minutes there for him," said Henrico police Lt. Jim Price. "The subject then drew two handguns out then brandished them and pointed them at the officer who then got behind his car here."

The suspect started shooting as back up raced to the scene, lights and sirens blaring.

They formed a shield and forced Keeton to drop his guns.

As they approached, he pulled out a knife.

Again, Keeton surrendered that weapon and was subdued.

In another twist, turns out those weapons are actually pellet guns.

Lieutenant Price says it seems like Keeton was looking for an armed confrontation with police.

At this point though, they don't know why.

Just about half an hour earlier police say Keeton was a few miles away at the White Oak Village Shopping Center.

Eyewitnesses tell them it appeared Keeton intentionally drove his car right at a crowd of pedestrians in front of a Target store.

One woman couldn't get out of the way fast enough.

She was taken to VCU Medical Center but is expected to be ok.

Shoppers we talked to Sunday are relieved Keeton is locked up.

"The less people like that on the street, the better of course," said shopper Petula Armstead. "The better our chances of being able to come shop without being rundown by people."

None of the officers shot back at Keeton during the incident.

Lieutenant Price explains there are guidelines, but that decision is up to the officer's discretion.

Bryan Keeton remains behind bars tonight.

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