Virginia Beach officers cleared in three recent shooting incidents

Posted at 5:34 PM, May 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-28 17:17:09-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - On Wednesday, the Commonwealth's Attorney of Virginia Beach released several letters clearing officers who were involved in recent shootings in the city.

The Commonwealth's Attorney found that all of the officers acted properly under the circumstances and there will be no criminal charges against any of them. Officers Bradley Colas, Mark Bennett, Ewell Pittman, Daniel Ertmann, Sean Garvin, Daniel Herring, Eli Kendrick, and Jeremy Molnar are all eligible to return to regular duty.

The first incident happened on May 1 on King Henry Court. Police say Christopher Cody Smith strangled his wife and shot his best friend. While on the scene helping the two victims, police say Smith shot at them and ran inside of an apartment.  Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera says this went on for about 20 minutes.  Smith jumped out of a window and ran into the woods. He was eventually apprehended. He was found with two weapons and a third was inside of his pants.

The second occurred on May 8th on 5522 Baccalaureate Drive after police say James Wallace White shot his wife to death and wounded one of her sons.  Police say White shot at them and that's when they exchanged gunfire and White was hit. He suffered a non-life threatening injury.

The most recent incident happened on May 15th on Newtown Road and Baker Road where two suspected armed robbers walked into a Boost Mobile location and held a customer hostage.  One of the men accused in the incident, Louis Vasquez, was shot after police say he exchanged fire with officers. He has been charged with robbery, abduction and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

A full report will not be released until criminal proceedings are completed.

The Virginia Beach Police Union released the following statement:

"The association was always confident that our officers did what was right.  We are grateful to the commonwealths attorney for not allowing politics to enter into the decision and for standing up for our officers and ultimately law enforcement everywhere. We also thank Chief Cervera for working closely with the Virginia Beach Police Association while resolving this matter."


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