VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Virginia Beach Police officer was shot when another officer's firearm discharged during a struggle with a subject Thursday morning.
According to the department, the incident happened at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
Officials say someone unrelated to the the department's assignment grabbed onto an officer's gun in an attempt to disarm the officer. This led to a struggle while the officer tried to secure his gun.
Other officers tried to handcuff the person, but the department says the suspect was "determined" to disarm the officer.
During the struggle, the person was not able to remove the officer's gun from his holster but was able to cause the gun to fire. The round went through the bottom of the holster and hit an assisting officer in their lower extremities.
The injured officer sustained a minor injury and was released from the hospital.
As a result of the incident, police have arrested Williams Deloatche, 28, of Virginia Beach and charged him with Attempting to Disarm a Police Officer and Malicious Assault of a Police Officer.
"For the second time in recent months, an individual has assaulted and tried to disarm a uniformed Virginia Beach Police Officer. We are extremely fortunate that training and determination kept our officers from being killed," said Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate. "At a time when law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty across this nation are on the increase, we need our community to send a message that attacks on our police officers cannot continue, and that when they do that there will be certain and substantial consequences."
Neudigate is referring to a similar incident that happened in Oct. 2021 when a man tried to escape police at the hospital. Police arrived at the hospital to take the man, Matthew Christie, into custody after he wasaccused of killing his mother.During the attempted escape, an officer's gun went off.
After last year's incident, News 3 reported that Virginia Beach Police officers wereturning in their holsters and getting new ones as the department investigated whether they were safe.
This AM VBPD Officers were involved in a struggle w/ a subject in police custody @ SVBGH, during which time an officer's firearm discharged. The initial investigation indicates a VBPD officer was struck in a lower extremity, sustaining a minor injury. No further info @ this time.— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) May 19, 2022