RPD: Officer shot man after he pointed gun at police
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Cell phone video has surfaced, showing the moments right after a man was shot by Richmond police. Investigators say the suspect pointed his gun at officers after trying to flee on foot late Wednesday morning. The incident happened outside the Richmond Inn and Suites hotel, off Midlothian Turnpike.
The suspect can be heard in the video denying that he aimed a gun at officers, as medics treated his gunshot wound in the parking lot. Police can be heard countering the man's denial. The video is now part of the official investigation.
David (who declined to give his last name) is a friend of the suspect. He says he and the suspect were talking near the courtyard of the hotel, with their girlfriends and David's baby. David maintains they were doing nothing wrong, and were unfairly targeted by police.
However, investigators say they saw suspicious activity between the two men. Richmond Police Chief Al Durham says the two veteran officers, who were patrolling the area, witnessed a hand-over-hand exchange between the men. The officers attempted to make contact with the men.
"The cop knows darn well that he did not see a hand-to-hand transaction," said David.
The suspect took off. Police say he tripped and fell on the pavement in the hotel's parking lot, and then pulled out a gun from his waistband.
"He attempted to get up, pulled a firearm from his waistband, pointed it towards the officer, at which time, one of the officers fired his firearm," said Chief Durham.
In the cell phone video, the suspect can be heard yelling at police, questioning why he was shot. The officer responds, referencing how he says the man pointed a gun at him. The suspect goes on to deny that in the video.
David says he didn't see the shooting itself, but rather the moments immediately following the gunfire.
"As soon as I turned the corner, (the suspect) dropped down to one knee, and then fell down on the ground…holding his torso…(The suspect) just looked at me and said, 'They shot me for no reason. They shot me for no reason,'" continued David.
Police say the motel, also known as the Rodeway Inn, has been a nuisance for prostitution and drugs. Just last week, Chief Durham says officers dodged gunfire at this same hotel.
"Seven days ago, our officers were fired upon, just on the other side of this motel here on Midlothian," said Chief Durham.
David says the gunfire was unnecessary. "It's pretty enraging, especially because I know this was a very good guy."
Police say they have the suspect's gun in their possession. However, no charges have been filed yet, against the suspect. The officers involved are on administrative duty while police investigate the incident internally. They will then turn over their findings to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office.
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