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Police shoot man outside West End apartment

Posted at 11:22 PM, Apr 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-27 12:08:32-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A stand-off between officers and a resident at a West End apartment complex ended with police shooting the 20-year-old man.

Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting Thursday off Three Chopt Road near Freeman High School.

Police said they were responding to a disorderly conduct call at the apartment complex.

Neighbors said that Allen Skeens, 20, was angry.

Witnesses said that Skeens was frantically carrying objects from his aunt's home and started throwing them at her car. That’s why they called 911.

“I guess he was really angry...he started slamming stuff, throwing stuff, breaking stuff,” said Heather Powell, who captured a graphic image of the stand-off between police and Skeens.

Powell wondered why police shot the 20-year old.

She said, and other witnesses agreed, that Skeens appeared to be unarmed.

Another witness said she saw a man first beating on cars, then later spotted the man holding up his hands, telling police to shoot him.

Powell, who took photos, said Skeens simply put his hands in the air and ordered police to shoot him. [GRAPHIC WARNING: Photos from bystander from police-involved shooting]

"I thought they [police] were trained to do other things... but it seems like they just shoot people,” she said.

Initially officers said there was a scuffle as they tried to take Skeens into custody, before shots were fired. Then they said Skeens started to threateningly approach officers who had their guns drawn.

“The subject began walking toward the officers...counting...and a single shot was fired by one officer...striking the subject,” said Lt. Eric Owens, with the Henrico Police Department.

Bill Handy, Skeens’s father, said his son is mentally disabled. Handy said that his son does have a troubled past but that he wouldn't hurt anyone.

Skeens, who took a bullet in the torso, was taken to VCU Medical Center. He is listed as in critical condition.