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Police previously called to home of man shot by RPD officer during domestic call

Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-12 19:11:33-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police said Tuesday night was not the first time they have been called to the suspect’s home who was shot by a Richmond police officer during a domestic call.

"There was a firearm displayed the officer pulled his service weapon and fired," Deputy Chief Steve Drew with Richmond police said.

That was the end to what began inside a home in the 1800 block of Fernbrook Drive Tuesday night.

"There was no hesitation when that first officer got to that scene to get in there and render aid to the individual screaming out for help in that apartment," Drew said.


1800 block of Fernbrook Drive

Neighbors, who reported hearing screams from inside the suspect's apartment, said the screams were so loud inside that they caught the attention of a neighbor outside who called for help  before shots were fired.

"It was just crazy," neighbor Crystal Lewis said.

Neighbors in the quiet Southside community are thankful it wasn't worse.

"You never know what could have happened. She could have been dead. It's good we got good neighbors like that," Lewis said.

Investigators said 30-year-old Jamar Coward was beating his girlfriend while two small children watched when officers forced their way inside the home.

"An altercation took place a confrontation with the first officer that responded and the suspect inside the residence," Drew said. "A firearm was displayed by the suspect and the officer displayed his firearm and discharged his weapon."


1800 block of Fernbrook Drive

Coward was shot multiple times by police and is in custody at the hospital on a domestic assault charge. He underwent surgery Tuesday night for non-life-threatening injuries. The victim, who was treated for her injuries, is now getting help for wounds that could take more time to heal.

"I think she was very thankful. She was very cooperative she was shaken up just as anyone else," Drew said.

Richmond police said one of the officers involved in the shooting has been with the department for close to 20 years. The other has been with the RPD for a little under four years.

Both male officers have been put on paid administrative leave, as is procedure, pending an investigation that includes internal affairs, the force investigation team and the commonwealth's attorneys office.

Prior to Tuesday's shooting, police said they were called to the home Dec. 10, 2012 for a domestic disturbance.

"Domestic calls are one of the most dangerous calls officers go on," Drew said. "You never know what you're going to encounter once you cross that door."