Brother of man killed in Amelia shootout involving police speaks

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 7:42 PM EST
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AMELIA, Va. (WWBT) -The brother of a man killed in a shootout with state police and an Amelia County deputy Wednesday night spoke with NBC12 Thursday.

According to Virginia State Police, an Amelia County sheriff’s deputy, with two state troopers’ assistance, was conducting a wellness check at a home in the 13500 block of West Lane when shots were fired. 32-year-old Nicholas Lassiter of Saluda, Virginia, was killed after shooting and seriously injuring the Amelia deputy.

The suspect’s older brother Milton Lassiter was alerted to the shooting when his mother called, sounding frantic on the phone in the moments following the incident.

“My mother was just screaming, ‘I think he’s dead nobody will tell me anything!’” Milton said. “I couldn’t understand what she was saying, so I hung up and drove straight to her home.”

Police say they received a call for a wellness check just before 6:10 p.m. on Dec. 28. Following up on the information provided in the 911 call, the deputy confirmed Nicholas Lassiter was wanted on a felony arrest warrant and two misdemeanor warrants out of King and Queen County.

But Milton believes police shouldn’t have been called because his brother was not distressed. He also says that despite the tension between his mother’s boyfriend and Nicholas, who were inside the home before the police were called, they were not fighting.

“It wasn’t a wellness check. My mom’s boyfriend called and told them that my brother was here,” Milton said. “No mother should have to bury their child.”

As the deputy and troopers entered the residence, they encountered Lassiter inside. Lassiter fired at the deputy and troopers and shot the deputy. The deputy and one trooper returned fire, striking Lassiter.

“That’s what blew my mind of this situation happening. That’s not him. He’s scared to fight,” Milton said. “My mother did end up seeing it. She walked into the kitchen as area where he was hiding was opened, and then that’s when, I don’t know, I guess my brother shot the cop, and my mom watched the cop shoot my brother.”

According to police, Lassiter died from his injuries at the scene. His remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for examination and autopsy.

The deputy was flown to Chippenham Hospital, where he was treated and released. Two other people were at the home at the time of the shooting and were not injured. The other troopers at the scene were also not hurt.

Milton says he is not upset with how the police conducted themselves. He wants people to know that despite what his younger brother did, he’s not a violent person.

“I could understand if you look up his record and he had like attempted murder charges, or assault charges or he was a violent person, but he wasn’t,” Milton said. “My brother had no criminal record at all, nothing, not even a misdemeanor until he caught these driving charges, which was just a DUI, and he flipped his car.

According to court records, Nicholas faced a misdemeanor charge from Sept. of 2021 for DWI 1st offense in Richmond County. The 32-year-old also failed to pay a fine for a speeding violation after not showing up to court in Oct. 2021, in addition to not appearing in court in January in King and Queen County.

Once the investigation is completed, state police will turn over the investigative file to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for final review and adjunction.

Following state police policy, one trooper involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the ongoing investigation.