Friends say RPD shooting suspect previously shot himself in the face

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-03 21:00:29-05

UPDATE: Suspect identified in Richmond officer-involved shooting

RICHMOND, Va. – Friends said the man who allegedly opened fire on a Richmond police officer in the city’s East End Friday afternoon previously shot himself in the face.

VCU Medical Center officials confirmed the suspect was being treated in the emergency room as of 6:30 p.m.

Police said the man suffered life-threatening injuries during the officer-involved shooting.

A police source told CBS 6 News that the officer was called to assist the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority with evaluating a mental subject.

Melissa Hipolit reports that Master Patrol Officer William Turner, a 30-year veteran of the force, was dispatched to a "mental health situation" call in the 4400 block of Fulton. When Turner arrived and went to get out of his cruiser, the suspect allegedly started firing. As a result, police said Turner returned fire and both he and suspect were shot multiple times.

Turner suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to VCU Medical Center in a police vehicle.

The suspect was also taken to VCU Medical Center.

Friends and neighbors told CBS 6 reporter Laura French that the suspect had never fully recovered after he shot himself in the face a few years ago.

When news of the shooting spread, neighbors said they were taken aback because at times the suspect had difficulty standing on his own.

Police were questioning the suspect’s grandmother, sister and brother in their Fulton neighborhood Friday afternoon.

CBS 6 News is choosing not to release the suspect’s name at this time.

There has been no word yet on what triggered the shooting.