Dead man’s fiancee says police shot wrong guy

Posted at 12:27 AM, Jan 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-16 06:33:20-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR)--Surveillance video released Tuesday, allegedly of Frankie Pitt, a man who police say swiped cash registers from two gas stations before breaking down on the side of the road and getting into a deadly scuffle with a K-9 cop over his gun.

Two different Exxons, in two different parts of Chesterfield County.  Less than 24 hours apart, a man walked in and snatched the cash register.

“You look at the motive and it's the same,” said former Chesterfield Police Capt. Steve Neal.  “The clothing is the same, the height and weight and look of subject is the same.  That's pretty significant and damning and it's the same person perpetrating these crimes."

Police say the perpetrator in both robberies was Pitt, who was shot to death after police say he went for an officer’s gun.  Police say the officer walked up on Pitt's disabled vehicle and noticed the cash drawers in the car.

Greg Harris operates a Papa John’s pizza shop close to the Circle K Exxon at Oxbridge Square. “As I drove down Hull and Chippenham, officers were flying by me,” he said.  He said he saw more than one officer on the Chippenham South on-ramp. "A couple still had their guns drawn and I could see someone down on the pavement."

But Pitt's fiancee insists Pitt would never have stolen from anyone.  When she looked at the video, she told CBS-6 off camera that it didn't look like Pitt and she said he did not wear those clothes.

Pitt is one of five suspects shot to death by Chesterfield Police since 2009.  Henrico has had two killings, Richmond one.  All of the police involved shootings have been deemed "justified" with the exception of this one, because it's still under investigation.

"If there was one without reason, then as a citizen you may have concern,” said Neal.  “But if, in fact, all were concluded to be justified, then as a citizen I'm not concerned at all."