Hampton prosecutors clear police in deadly shooting

Posted at 7:28 PM, Oct 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-11 19:28:55-04

Hampton, Va. - The Hampton police officers who shot a man 8 times killing him last year were justified in their actions, Commonwealth's Attorney Anton Bell said in a letter to the Hampton Police Department.

Police shot and killed Bryant Weiford in July 2012 after police and witnesses saw him attacking cars with an aluminum baseball bat on Pembroke Avenue.

Bell said in his letter, there was "overwhelming evidence to show that Mr. Weiford was an immediate threat to both law enforcement and civilians present."

The letter said an officer tried to approach Weiford, but Weirford struck the police car with his bat.

Weiford began "running toward [the officer] in a confrontational manner" and the officer "ordered Weiford multiple times to drop the bat, which he refused to do," the letter said.

The officer then "drew his weapon and fired it, striking Weiford (who continued to advance toward him)," Bell said in the letter.

It goes on to say that's when another officer got on scene and also began firing his weapon.

Weiford, the letter said, was struck eight times.  He died on scene.

The Commonwealth's Attorney references one witness who said the officer "was either gonna get his head busted wide open or he was gonna have to shoot him".

Bell said based on the evidence, the officers "reasonably feared death or serious bodily injury."

At the time of his death, Weiford's family said he was a phenomenal man, and that officers could have done something else other than to shoot and kill him.