Eyewitness recalls weekend crash turned officer involved shooting on I-64

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:07 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:13 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The driver of a car that rolled over several times on Saturday night was shot and killed by police after the situation escalated into an officer-involved shooting.

An eyewitness tells NBC12 that the drivers tried to leave the scene in the damaged car before Henrico officers arrived.

“I was actually in the middle of everything,” said eyewitness Barbara Rowe.

Rowe says she was driving to work along I-64 westbound Saturday night when another car trailed behind her, picking up speed and prompting her to change lanes:

“I look up in my rearview mirror again, and I see a car airborne, flipping about three times, to the point where it actually landed on the East side of the interstate.”

That roll-over prompted calls to Henrico Police around 6:30 p.m. While waiting for first responders, Rowe and two others sprung into action: blocking highway traffic and assisting the car’s two occupants.

She recalls feeling uneasy upon approaching the driver, fearing he would flee the scene, also claiming that she saw a knife on his waist. She said she tried removing the keys from the damaged car’s ignition, but they were jammed.

Rowe said she tried checking on the passenger before the driver stopped her:

“He was like ‘Hey, hey what are you doing? Get away from him, he’s fine.”

Eventually, the driver took off again in the damaged vehicle before police finally arrived.

“Next thing I know, the car is like over on the side of the road and I hear five shots go off,” Rowe said.

Henrico Police told NBC12 that the driver was shot by police, but did not disclose yet what lead to the gunfire nor did they confirm yet if the driver had a knife.

“We will get to the bottom of why the encounter took place and why the shooting took place as well, but we want to make sure that the information we distribute is accurate information,” said Henrico Police Chief Eric English.

In the meantime, Rowe says she wondered if she could have done more.

“I’ve been kind of emotionally traumatized. If I could have gotten the keys out of the ignition, maybe it would have just stopped there,” she added.

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