Family: 71-year-old man killed by deputy is partially deaf and blind

Published: Aug. 4, 2015 at 6:50 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2015 at 6:50 PM EDT
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POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - The family of a 71-year-old Powhatan man shot and killed by a deputy Monday night is talking to NBC12 about serious questions they have for investigators. Relatives of Franklin Short released photos of the man they describe as a minister, who is partially blind and deaf.

On Tuesday, police said the man confronted officers with a rifle when they showed up at his door.

The deputy involved in the fatal shooting is on paid leave as State Police get to the bottom of what happened. NBC12 was the first on the scene just after 9:30 Monday night. Now new information is surfacing about the shooting victim from those who know him best.

"If my dad did come out of the house with a firearm in his hand and if they were telling him to put the weapon down, he probably never even heard them…Why did they have to shoot to kill? Why couldn't they have just tased him or given him a warning shot? My dad cannot run," said Peggy Stroud, holding back tears.

She's expressing her outrage over the death of her father, at the hands of a Powhatan sheriff's deputy. When she got word of a shooting on Franklin Short's street in Powhatan, she jumped in her car from Cumberland to check on him.

"When I got there I knew, because they were at my dad's house and I knew..." she said pausing before breaking down in tears.

That's when officers on the scene at Urbine Road told her to stand back.

Relatives say Short was home with his daughter and her boyfriend when things took a devastating turn. State Police and Powhatan deputies responded for what they described as a domestic call. They say that's when they were confronted by the 71-year-old armed with a rifle. Officers say the deputy asked him several times to drop the weapon, but he wouldn't. That's when the deputy fired the fatal shot.

"We did hear something that sounded like gunshots," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

NBC12 asked if the sound worried her.

"At that time of night, yes… it was police officers on both sides of the road as far as I could see to my left and my right last night for hours," she said.

A shocking scene that finds a grieving family demanding answers.

"He is the greatest man I've ever known. He would give you the shirt off his back," Stroud added.

Powhatan Sheriff's Office would only confirm one of its own is on administrative leave following the incident.

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