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Family and officers remain steadfast by Richmond officer’s side at hospital

Posted at 1:04 PM, Jan 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-05 18:05:06-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The man accused of shooting a Richmond police officer on Friday will be arraigned this week on malicious wounding firearm use felony charges.

The accused shooter,  20-year-old Tamar X. Harris, remains hospitalized in stable condition, but was served the warrants and will be arraigned at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said Harris shot 30-year veteran of the force William Turner in the Fulton neighborhood. It happened around 2:30 Friday when Turner was responding to the report of an adult male suffering from emotional issues.

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RELATED: Suspect identified in Richmond officer-involved shooting

"Father God you are greater than anything that officer Turner is going through," prayed Turner's cousin Johnella Jones on the second day a vigil was held in Officer Turner's honor. Turner remains in critical condition.

His wife is by his side and joined by Chief Tarasovic and other officers during the vigil.  Officers are all rotating in and out of his room.  Officers and family believe he is aware of their presence.  He gave them some movement when they talked to him today.

Turner was described by his cousin as the jokester of the family that on which everyone can always count. "Everyone just looked up to him.  If you called on him you could depend on him, as well as his wife Pat," said Jones.  "I just thank God that he is still here.  It was a shock, but I know that he has faith, his wife has faith and so they are believers and so I know that they know that God is going to work this out," added Jones.

His colleagues consider him "family" and described him as a "stellar" officer and a "rock."

"He's just a quality officer any officer that gives 30 plus years to this city and serves this city, he's done stellar work, he's a stellar performer,  he's a rock," said Richmond Police Major Steve Drew. ""This is a family.  When the community comes out like this, officers come out like this, I think that speaks volumes," added Drew.

There will be a vigil for him every day at 3 p.m. until he walks out of the hospital.

Richmond Behavior Health confirmed that two of their staffers were at the scene of Friday's shooting and were trying to help Harris prior. Representatives said they try to train for events like what happened Friday.  They are meeting to make sure staff is supported and use this case as a learning experience for the future are well.  They said they have a great relationship and support from local law enforcement.

The sounds of gunfire alerted Willard Roland Jr. to look out his window Friday afternoon.

"All of a sudden I heard pop, pop, pop," Roland  said. "He staggered to the middle of the street and I knew he had been shot so I called 911."

Roland made that call for help for Richmond Master Patrol Officer William Turner.

"I was telling them officer shot because I could tell he had been shot and saw the blood on the back of the car," he said.

Ash-lee Bradby

Ash-lee Bradby

RELATED: Friends say suspect who opened fire on RPD officer previously shot himself in the face

Saturday, paint marked the spot of that car and bullet holes lined a house where police said Turner was shot as he exited his cruiser during a call for a mental health crisis.  Turner returned fire.

"He was leaning across his trunk facing that way. I am sure he was shooting at the suspect," Rowland said.

Neighbors said the suspect was sitting on a rock next to a home where kids were playing when he made his way across the street where he came in contact with the officer.

Ash-lee Bradby's small children were playing feet from the gunfire and told their mom Harris was acting strange moments before.

"I hear a couple shots and I hear my kids come running in the back door and we tell all the kids you all get down and everybody just stayed in place," said, Bradby.

Turner and Harris are recovering at VCU Medical Center. Turner remains in critical condition while Harris is listed as stable. The injuries to both men are considered non-life threatening.

Harris is in police custody.