UPDATE: Henrico police officer shoots man during welfare check

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico police are investigating one of their own tonight after a shooting in the county's East End. The shooting happened at a home in the 100 block of Orams Lane...that's off of Nine Mile Road. Police say a man made threatening moves toward officers and one of them shot him.

It started as a welfare check on Orams Lane. A man refused his medication and a trip to the hospital. Police were called. We're told the man made a threatening move towards officers. Family members say he reached for a BB gun.

The quiet on Orams lane is broken every so often by the bizarre behavior of a troubled neighbor.

"I've seen him run up the street like something was chasing him and he's get off me and swinging his hands all around," said neighbor Brian Lawson.

"She's tried to get him help, she's had him on medication and everything he resists it," said Starr Lipinski, neighbor.

The 54-year-old man is under a doctor's care and often stays with his sister. On this morning his refusal to take medication led to a call for police.

Brian Lawson is a friend and was asked to speak on behalf of the man's family. Through Lawson, they say their brother threatened to pull a gun on police officers.

"He pulled it out of the box and they only seen the part of the gun you know the pistol and that's when they fired on him," said Lawson.

Lawson says it was a BB gun and says the victim's sister understands officers had no way of knowing that.

"You can't really tell if it's a BB gun or not, he threatened to pull a gun and the officer did what he had to do. But, it could have been worse. He only shot him in the arm," he said.

He was taken to the hospital and will be ok. Police are deciding whether or not to place charges. Neighbors say they hope this unfortunate incident sparks a big change at this burdened house on Orams.

"He needs to get some help. The state needs to come in and get him somewhere where he can take his medicine every day," said Lipinski.

The officer involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave which is normal protocol in a situation like this as an internal investigation is completed into whether not this shooting was justified.

The shooting also forced seven nearby homes to be evacuated. As police were searching the house they found suspicious items. The bomb squad was called in and removed them.

Henrico police say they are still trying to figure what the items were and how to dispose of them. Investigators are also deciding whether to place charges for that incident.

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