HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - Virginia State Police are assisting the Hopewell Police Department after an officer-involved shooting left an armed robbery suspect dead after she pointed a gun at officers.
Hopewell police were called to the report of an armed robbery at a gas station in the 900 block of Winston Churchill Drive around 11:09 a.m. on Tuesday.
As officers searched the area, they found a woman fitting the robbery suspect’s description running on foot in the 700 block of Elm Street.
Officers issued several verbal commands for her to stop.
“While continuing to disregard the officers’ verbal commands, the adult female subsequently pointed a handgun at one of the officers, who fired a single shot,” according to a Hopewell Police Department release.
The woman died at the scene.
Police have identified the woman as s 31-year-old Angel Viola Decarlo, of Hopewell.
Dozens of family members gathered at the scene, many too emotional to talk as investigators work to learn just what happened.
“She was a fun loving person. Her biggest passion in life was fashion. She loved fashion," the woman’s cousin, Belinda Crosby, said.
Virginia State Police sent their mobile command unit to help with the investigation.
Many in the community drove by the area after hearing what happened.
“It’s definitely different from when I grew up," Britney Irving said.
Irving just moved back to the area, and was on her way to pick up her son when she saw the scene.
“I was wondering what was going on because this is pretty much a quiet area, so I was wondering what was going on with all of the police cars and tape," Irving said.
As many stood around waiting to learn what happened, it’s hard for family members to accept Angel is gone.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet because I’m thinking I will see her later,” Crosby said.
No officers were injured in the incident. The Hopewell police officer has been placed on administrative leave in accordance with department policy.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call lead Detective Benjamin Ransom at (804) 541-2284, or Hopewell/Prince George Crimesolvers at (804) 541-2202.
In addition to Virginia State Police, agencies from nearby counties are assisting in the investigation.
The Hopewell Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards is also conducting a separate investigation to examine the actions of department personnel, as in standard policy.
“Members of the Hopewell Police Department understand the significant impact this tragic event has had on the friends and family of Ms. Decarlo, the department personnel involved and our community. As such, we appreciate the public’s patience throughout the ongoing investigative and review process”, said Interim Chief Greg Taylor.