PORTSMOUTH, Va. - State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that took place Sunday morning.
Portsmouth Police say they responded around 11:28 a.m., to a call for service near the 2300 block of Greenwood Drive.
Police say a man brandished a sharp object at a Portsmouth officer on the scene. The officer fired at the man and he was left with a serious injury. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Eyewitnesses spoke with us on what they saw take place.
"The officer pulls the taser and tells him to drop it, continuously tells him to drop it and then he didn’t so he tased him, about two or three times,” Jon Rey, a witness said. "Didn’t faze him, the guy told him hey do it again it’s not going to faze me at all, that’s when he turned around and just kept charging at the officer and he decided to run at him and he almost swung at him with it until the officer just started shooting at him.”
News 3 has obtained a video from a witness of the shooting. The video shows part of the confrontation between an officer and a man. In the video, you can see and hear the officer commanding the man to ‘drop it.” We’ve chosen to freeze the video when shots are fired.
We enhanced the sharpness video to provide a clearer picture of the event. Disclaimer: Some may find content in the video disturbing.
News 3 obtained another eyewitness video that shows the man going up to the front door of a neighbor's home and then taking stuff off of the porch. The video also shows him eventually walking down the street with what witnesses say was a barbecue fork.
The Portsmouth NAACP released the following statement on the incident after it happened:
We are aware of the officer involved shooting that happened earlier today. We are examining it very closely, however, based upon videos that we have seen so far we have questions.
The Use of Force Continuum, based upon standards set by the U.S 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, outlines steps of escalation and deescalation in which officers are trained to specifically follow in situations where there is a “Reasonable Imminent Threat”. The preservation of life is paramount and before an officer uses deadly force, justification of that action must be clear and without doubt as the only option possible to minimize an imminent threat to themselves and or others.
Though the matter has been referred to the Virginia State Police, the family and the Citizens of Portsmouth deserve transparency and a full accounting of the circumstances.
The shooting is being investigated by State Police. News 3 is working to learn more details as the community feels uneasy.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).