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Judge agrees to competency hearing for man accused of shooting Richmond officer

Posted at 11:46 AM, Mar 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 12:22:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A judge granted the request for a competency hearing Friday for the 20-year-old man accused of shooting a Richmond police officer earlier this year.

Tamar X. Harris, of Old Denny Road, has been charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony following the Jan. 2 shooting of officer William Turner.

CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns reported that Harris'  face was noticeably swollen when he appeared in court in a wheelchair.

Defense attorneys filed the competency hearing  motion to determine if Harris is fit to stand trial. Additionally, Harris' attorneys asked the court to appoint a doctor who specializes in traumatic brain injury to examine Harris. That's because the attorneys said the usual doctor does not have detailed experience with brain injuries. The judge also granted that request.

Harris' next status hearing is scheduled for May 21 at 2 p.m.

Officer William Turner (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

Officer William Turner (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

Road to Recovery

Officer William Turner said last month that he planned to go back to work once he has fully healed from his wounds.

Turner was shot in the stomach after he responded to a report of a man suffering from emotional issues in Richmond’s Fulton neighborhood. Another bullet grazed Turner’s head. In the days and weeks following the shooting, the community organized prayer vigils and fundraisers for the injured officer.

“I never expected all this outpouring, I never did,” Turner said in a video produced and released by the Richmond Police Department. “I’m grateful for it. And I will always be thankful.”

Turner was released from the hospital two weeks after he was shot.

Richmond police officer-involved shooting

The Shooting 

Turner was shot around 2:30 on a Friday afternoon when he was responding to the report of an adult male suffering from emotional issues.

“All of a sudden I heard pop, pop, pop,” Willard Roland Jr., a neighbor who witnessed the shooting, told CBS 6 News. “He staggered to the middle of the street and I knew he had been shot, so I called 911."

A man at Harris’ home, who identified himself as Harris’s uncle, said the suspect suffered a brain injury after shooting himself a few years ago. He also said his nephew never recovered after his mother died unexpectedly two years ago and that Harris blamed himself for his mother's death.

Depend on WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for updates on this story.