Preliminary investigation: No indication man shot by Chesapeake Police was armed

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jun 16, 2014

Portsmouth, Va. - The man shot by a Chesapeake Police Officer in Portsmouth last week was on the run from Maryland, according to court documents filed in Portsmouth. However, those court documents do not describe the details of what led the officer to shoot him.

Donna Hampton identified the victim as her son 27-year-old Michael Smith who is also referred to as “Rico” in some Cecil County, MD court documents. Police confirmed his identity on Monday afternoon.

A Virginia arrest warrant states Smith is a fugitive from Maryland wanted for breaking into a home and stealing guns.

Last Thursday afternoon, Smith was shot by a Chesapeake Police officer who was trying to serve him a fugitive warrant. It happened on Cumberland Avenue in Portsmouth. Smith’s mother tells NewsChannel 3 her son was walking back to her home on South Street from Walmart at the time.

Smith says he did not even know the police were in the unmarked car when it sped up behind him last Thursday. He also says that he was not armed.

“Well they just gassed it. I just turned around real fast just to look so I wouldn’t get hit by a car,” says Smith.

While Portsmouth Police continue to investigate, documents filed in Portsmouth General District Court today reveal much more about why Smith was wanted in the first place.

In late May, Maryland court documents state Smith kicked in the front door of a couple’s home on Mallard St. in the city of Elkton and stole an AK-47 rifle, a Ruger .22 Caliber rifle, and a Stoeger shotgun. According to those court documents, two sources told detectives Smith admitted to doing it but said he wouldn’t get into trouble because he claimed to be friends with a person known as “Biggs” who lived at the Mallard St. home. One of the sources also told the detective Smith fled to Virginia to avoid being arrested.

When asked if he was in Virginia to escape the Maryland charges, Smith denies knowing anything about it. He says he was just here to see his mother.

Portsmouth Police say that the Elkton Police Department received information that Smith may have fled to a relative's home in Chesapeake, so they contacted the Chesapeake Police Department for assistance.

Police say Chesapeake Police and the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office began an investigation to try and locate Smith and eventually received a tip that he was possibly in the City of Portsmouth.

After conducting surveillance, police say Smith's identity and location were confirmed.

The Chesapeake joint task force requested assistance from the Portsmouth Police Department's Fugitive Unit and while waiting for their arrival, spotted Smith walking in the area.

Police say as the officers approached Smith to apprehend him, he was shot by a Chesapeake Police Officer from inside an unmarked police vehicle.

Smith was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and hospital officials say Smith was treated and discharged on Friday. Portsmouth police say he’s now in the custody of the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office and has been served a fugitive warrant based on his outstanding warrants for three counts of Burglary, two counts of theft of a registered firearm, one count of malicious destruction of property and one count of theft  in the state of Maryland.

He is being held in the Portsmouth City Jail awaiting extradition.

Smith has an extradition hearing scheduled in Portsmouth General District Court Tuesday morning.

The Chesapeake Police officer who shot Smith has not been identified. He has been placed on administrative assignment, which is standard operating procedure.

The case will be sent to the Commonwealth's Attorney's office for review after the investigation.

Mother wants answers on why her son was shot by a Chesapeake police officer