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Virginia Beach Police officers turning in their holsters as department investigates whether they are safe after Sentara shooting

Virginia Beach Police
Posted at 4:20 PM, Oct 26, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Police officers are turning in their holsters and getting new ones after an incident at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. The department says they are trying to make sure there is nothing wrong with the officers' equipment as an examination revealed a potential defect in the issued holster.

Matthew Christie was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and malicious assault after allegedly killing his mother on October 16, then attempting to escape police at the hospital on October 22.

During the alleged attempted escape, an officer’s gun went off.

According to police, an officer responded to the hospital to take Christie into custody.

Christie allegedly ran from the officer, who caught up to him in a hospital stairwell, and an "extensive" struggle ensued. He then allegedly attempted to disarm the officer, resulting in the officer's handgun discharging.

Christie was then restrained and taken into custody, with no injuries reported to the officer or any other individuals.

A representative from the police department says right now, they are trying to determine whether the holsters have any deficiencies. They are collecting holsters from officers in the department and having them use the previous holsters they were using. They said they are checking to make sure the officers' equipment is working properly.

The department started to recall the holsters over the weekend.

As a result and out of an abundance of caution, the department says all officers have received holsters the department used prior to issuing the new Safariland model. The new holster was adopted to accommodate the signal side-arm technology necessary for the department’s body worn cameras to turn on automatically whenever an officer withdraws their weapon from its holster.

“We are extremely disappointed because we thought we had a reliable solution that automatically activates our cameras,” said Deputy Chief Sean Adams. “However, reverting to the previously used holster is the best short-term solution to ensure the safety of officers and the public while we work with the vendor on a solution.”

According to the Virginia Beach Police Department, on October 16, officers were called to the 2400 block of Loran Court for a welfare check. When they arrived, they found 74-year-old Linda Christie dead and her son, 38-year-old Christie, with serious injuries.

Christie was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, and after an investigation by the VBPD Detective Bureau, he was charged with first-degree murder and malicious assault.

An active shooter alert was initially called at the hospital due to the gunshot but was canceled.