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Richmond Police officer cleared in Midlothian Turnpike motel shooting

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Posted at 12:28 PM, Jun 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-01 23:36:06-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond investigators have cleared an officer who shot a man outside of a south Richmond motel.

That officer who was on paid administrative leave is now back on the job.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham made the announcement Monday during a press conference.

He said through their investigation they were able to speak with witnesses who provided critical information to police about suspect Roderick Hardy.

Police tried to stop Hardy after witnessing what they called a suspicious situation back on April 1.

Durham says Hardy tried to run away with a gun in his hand.

The chief says as Hardy fell down, he pointed the gun in the officer's direction.

That's when the officer opened fire, hitting Hardy.

Durham says they did recover evidence at the scene. He says they recovered a gun belonging to Hardy.

Durham says the plan now is to unite with City Council members and Midlothian Turnpike business owners to put a dent in crime there.

That is welcome news to Piyush Patel.

He works and lives at the Richmond Inn and suites Motel where the officer involved shooting happened back in April.

Patel is glad that the owner has even hired police officers for extra help on weekends.

“We are very safe around here. We do work here at night. At night I walk around and I make sure that nothing is going on" Patel said.

On other days during the week, Patel says Richmond Police officers stop by regularly and check on workers there.

Durham says a top priority now to make the community aware of efforts to tackle crime along Midlothian Turnpike.

Workers like Patel say it brings an added sense of security to see the extra officers.

The chief says in the Harding shooting, bystanders provided critical information.

They are counting on more community involvement going forward to bring crime numbers down in that area.