Hampton Police officer released from hospital after suspect allegedly struck her with bat; Suspect remains in critical condition

Posted at 12:07 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 12:16:52-05

HAMPTON, Va. - There has been an officer-involved shooting at 1020 W. Mercury Blvd. in Hampton.

The shooting took place at 11:37 a.m.

Officials tell us that officers were initially dispatched to the scene for a disorderly man with a bat at the Wynne Ford dealership. They say the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Christopher Clayton Rice, struck a female officer with a bat and was then shot by police.

She sustained non-life-threatening injuries and has been released from the hospital.

Rice was taken to the hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries, where he remains in critical condition. Officers say they also immediately began performing life-saving measures as well.

Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot held a press conference about the incident Tuesday afternoon and a press release was given to the public Wednesday morning.

According to authorities, the suspect was known to the employees of the Wynne Ford.

The dealership's employees were concerned enough that they locked the doors to the business and retreated to the back of the building.

Several officers responded to the incident and located Rice with a bat. When he refused to put the bat down, a female sergeant was called in. She attempted to convince Rice to put the bat down when Rice hit the sergeant in her head with the baseball bat.

“She spoke to the male in a calm voice, she tried to encourage him to put down the baseball bat, she asked over and over again, she made no threats,” Police chief Mark Talbot said.

That’s when a male officer fired at least one shot, hitting Rice.

“We will be evaluating whether or not we adhered to policy. We will evaluate whether we adhered to our own procedures and certainly make sure we are well within the law," Chief Talbot said.

The chief said the female sergeant, a 20-year veteran of the force, "did her job, and she did her job very well and made all of us here proud."

Rick James, a crime analyst, said courts have proven that a baseball bat can be considered deadly force.

“Things like a baseball bat, a knife, or a blunt instrument, anything that has the potential of causing serious harm or killing someone is considered deadly force.”

The Commonwealth attorney was at the scene Tuesday investigating. The chief said body cameras were in use, and they will be reviewing the footage as part of their investigation.

Police said there was no threat to the public.


Stay with News 3 for updates.