No charges sought against Norfolk officers who shot, killed man wielding knife

Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 16:42:45-05

Willie James (Courtesy: James family)

NORFOLK, Va. - The Commonwealth's Attorney announced Thursday that no charges will be sought against two officers involved in the shooting death of a man in June, 2016.

43-year-old Willie D. James was shot and killed by Norfolk Police officers on June 2 after he lunged at them with a knife.

Police said officers were in the 400 block of Chapel Street on a separate investigation when they were alerted about a fight that was taking place.

James was in an upstairs bedroom of the residence. When officers entered the residence, they attempted to negotiate with him from the bottom of the stairwell.

James did not comply with with the officers requests and reached into the waistband area of his clothing more than once. He eventually pulled out a large kitchen knife.

As police attempted to give the man verbal commands, he charged down he steps and lunged towards officers, weapon in hand.

When James reached the bottom of the stairs he swung the knife back and fourth while moving towards Officer Dozier.

As James moved toward the officers they both fired their weapons.

Once James was on the ground the officers acted to give emergency assistance to him before paramedics arrived.

James was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officer Wacker's body camera confirmed this sequence of events. Officer Dozier had not yet been issued a body camera.

On Thursday the Commonwealth's Attorney said if Officers V.C. Dozier and C.A. Wacker had not acted in the manner they did other civilians and/or the officers could have been seriously injured or killed.

No charges will be sought because the Commonwealth's Attorney said the officers acted in justifiable self-defense.

Click here to read the entire legal review.

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