Friend of Chesterfield attorney shot by police speaks out

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Nearly twenty four hours after a deadly standoff in Chesterfield, police continue to work at the scene piecing together what happened.

Officers shot a prominent attorney at his home on Timber Point Drive in the Woodland Pond neighborhood in southern Chesterfield.

An officer is standing guard. A forensic team will return in the morning. People close to attorney Richard Ferris, II, are only left to wonder "why" this standoff came to such a shocking end.

By late Friday night, what had been intense and highly emotional on Timber Point Drive, simmered down, but work for Chesterfield police and the feds is far from over. Police shot and killed Ferris following a three hour standoff.

"He fired a weapon at the officers and they returned fire," said Major Terry Patterson with Chesterfield police.

Ferris ran a law firm with his wife on Memory Lane and Ferris Firearms, a gun shop listed at the same location. He had a current federal firearms license to sell guns and a valid handgun permit out of Chesterfield.

Virginia Beach appellate attorney, Steve Emmert, last corresponded with Ferris by email Monday. By phone, Emmert tells me he's now left to wonder what drove his friend to this terrible tragedy.

"Horror. It was stunning news," said Emmert.

Emmert said he was hired by Ferris two and a half years ago to appeal a case Ferris lost in Chesterfield Circuit Court involving a dispute over a mortgage note.

"It was a case in which ruling after ruling went against him; the roof was constantly falling in," said Emmert.

But Emmert said Ferris never let setbacks get in the way of success.

"He never gave up. Always willing to keep moving forward, keep pressing on his client's interest. I admired that," said Emmert.

Ferris lived with his wife Michelle and their children.

After a 911 hang up in the middle of the night, dispatchers got ahold of Michelle Ferris who police say was concerned about her husband's welfare. Police say tear gas, and a negotiations attempt didn't work.

"The officers certainly - their concern was to get innocent people out of the house," said Major Patterson.

Along with the forensics team, agents with ATF will also return in the morning.

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