HOPEWELL, Va. —Three Hopewell County officers have been cleared in the fatal shooting of a suspect police said made threatening gestures with a black cane during a long standoff. Police then later discovered the suspect’s wife had been murdered. Hopewell Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Newman cleared the officers after a Virginia State Police investigation.
On Oct. 20,officers spotted 54-year-old Gary E. Lee driving along the railroad tracks on Western Street in Hopewell. Lee stopped for officers but refused to get out of the car, state police said. After 90 minutes of attempted negotiations, according to Keohane, Lee began making “threatening gestures towards the officers.”
After 90 minutes of attempted negotiations, according to Keohane, Lee began making “threatening gestures towards the officers.” During the standoff Lee had been making cuts into his arm. He later pulled out a black cane that police believed was a gun.
"It was suicide by cop," said Hopewell Chief of Police John Keohane. The chief also said that Lee had hoped to be hit by a train.
Officers fired and Lee died at the scene. His wife Carol E. Lee, 53, was found stabbed to death in a room at the Value Inn on Jennick Drive, off of Interstate 95, in Colonial Heights.
The findings of the investigation were turned over to the Commonwealth Attorney for final review and adjudication.
The officers were on paid leave during this time.