West End police shooting deemed justifiable

Posted at 12:52 PM, Jul 31, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-01 07:54:29-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Henrico Police did not use excessive force when an officer shot and injured an unarmed man in Henrico’s West End, according to Henrico County Commonwealth’s attorney Shannon Taylor. On Tuesday, Taylor released her report on the April 26 shooting.

The report outlined the moments  leading up to the shooting of 20-year-old Roger Allen Skeens outside the Three Chopt West Apartment complex near Freeman High School. [CLICK HERE: Read the Henrico Police shooting report]

The report indicated a woman called 911 to report Skeens was yelling and destroying property outside the apartment complex.

When officers arrived, they ordered Skeens to “get down,” the report said. Skeens replied officers would have to shoot him.

Skeens also told officers he was going to count to 10 and then “come after” them, officers and witnesses said. One of the officers shot Skeens when he began to approach the police car. An officer identified in the report as  “Officer Letteer” said he shot Skeens in the chest because feared he would take the other officer’s gun if he got too close. An officer identified in the report as “Officer Stephens” told Taylor he was afraid as Skeens approached.

Skeens survived the shooting.

In her report, Taylor said she took into account several factors before she deemed the shooting was not an act of “excessive” force. She said Skeens’ threats and the fact he was just 10 feet from the officers and continued to approach despite commands to stop were factors in her decision.

CBS 6’s legal analyst Todd Stone came to the studio to talk about the process behind the decision.