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No charges for Newport News officers in January officer-involved shooting

Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 10:37:10-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – An officer-involved shooting that occurred on January 14 in Newport News has been found to be justified by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and no criminal charges will be filed against the officers involved.

On January 14th, Newport News Police MPO Jamie Acree and Sergeant Brendan Bartley came in contact with 33-year-old Laratio Lorenzo Dantzler, who they believed had been involved in a double homicide earlier in the day.

During their encounter with Dantzler, who was armed, both officers fired their guns, striking Dantzler in the abdomen and shoulder.

Dantzler’s injuries were non-life threatening and he was released from an area hospital several days later and arrested. He has been charged with two counts of 1st degree murder, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, three counts of attempted robbery, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Both officers were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. They were both placed on administrative leave while an investigation took place.

Newport News Police Chief Richard Myers made the following statement after the officers were cleared by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office:

“We are appreciative of the review by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and our own internal investigation affirmed that the officers exercised professionalism and restraint even as they had to use their lethal weapons to stop the threat they were presented with.  As this case proceeds through the criminal justice system, it will become even more evident that Sgt. Bartley and Officer Acree acted swiftly to protect the public from further harm and showed courage in facing down a suspect who they knew was capable of taking human lives.  They were both returned to full duty at the conclusion of our internal review of the incident, with our confidence and appreciation.”

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