Beach police say high speed pursuit of pharmacy murder suspect followed policy

Posted at 7:12 PM, Apr 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-15 19:12:16-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Beach Police say he robbed two stores at gunpoint, murdered a beloved Beach pharmacist, then failed to stop when officers tried to pull him over.

Still, before starting the police pursuit with Walter Hubbard, officers had to make sure several factors were met, according to department policy.

“Is this person a clear and present danger? Are they an immediate threat? Are they armed? Have they committed a violent felony? Are they going to continue to commit violent felonies if we fail to stop them?” says MPO Jimmy Cason, describing the questions officers ask themselves before a chase.

Cason says Beach officers felt that criteria perfectly described the situation in front of them, especially when Hubbard started shooting at them.

That’s when their training and procedures kicked in.

“The primary vehicles are going to give chase, going to follow at a safe distance, because we have to keep the vehicle in sight,” said Cason.

All while other police cars converge on the chase from around the city, trying to make sure it ends safely for everyone.

“They almost have to predict where this is going. Officers have to be well ahead on the road to deploy tire spikes, as well as blocking off the streets,” said Cason.

After every pursuit, Beach Police investigate to make sure department rules were followed, but for right now, officers are priding themselves on the fact that no one was injured or killed during the chase.

“A successful conclusion amidst a tragedy,” said Cason.