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Norfolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney: Man shot to death by police was ‘mentally ill’

Posted at 5:46 PM, Sep 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-06 18:42:58-04

Norfolk, Va. - Norfolk's Commonwealth's Attorney said the man shot to death in his Calvary Towers apartment was mentally ill, and his health was getting worse.

The prosecutor's report released today said Lawrence Faine had become "erratic," "physically aggressive," had "stopped taking his medicine" and "quit paying rent."

The electric company had "turned off the power" and his "food was spoiling." The report says a group of people including property managers and community workers had spent hours trying to get him help, but he refused. Finally, they got a mental-health order and police officers to serve it.

But when officers went to the apartment, prosecutors said Faine picked up a "knife with a five-inch blade," walked toward the group, and refused to put the weapon down. Officer C. Segar shot him three times.

Faine was the first of two mentally ill men fatally shot by police that month, sparking critical words from some city council members. This shooting, the prosecutor said was legally justified. There has not been a decision on the other.

Related: 

Councilman Riddick says long-time white officers are ‘still stirring the pot of racism’

UPDATE: Knife-wielding suspect shot and killed by Norfolk officer identified