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‘He snapped,’ says roommate of man fatally shot by deputy

Posted at 4:00 PM, Aug 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-23 23:18:44-04

KING GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- State police are investigating a shooting involving a deputy that left a 65-year-old suspect dead in King George County Saturday night.

George County Sheriff's deputies were called to an apartment building in the 10000 block of Tinsbloom Mill Lane in King George County around 10:40 p.m. for a disturbance involving a 65-year-old male.

When deputies arrived, the man had barricaded himself in a bedroom. After attempting negotiations for more than an hour, deputies attempted to take the man into custody.

That's when the man pulled out a knife and approached law enforcement in a "threatening manner," Sgt. Kecia Wharton said. An officer discharged his firearm, hitting the man.

"EMS was already staged at the scene and attempted life-saving efforts immediately following the incident," Wharton said. "Despite the efforts the individual died at the scene."

None of the deputies at the scene were injured and no one else was home during the incident.

Danny Mills

Danny Mills

Danny Mills, the roommate of the victim, told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George he initially called 911 after his roommate "snapped" during a disagreement over a cable bill.

According to Mills, his roommate barricaded himself inside his bedroom. After an hour of intense negotiations, sheriff's deputies moved in and broke in the door.

That’s when the man allegedly charged deputies with a knife. A deputy fired at least two shots and the victim died in the hallway.

“I didn't want to see him go out the way he did,” Mill said. “I don't want to see anybody go out that way.”

Sheriff Steve Dempsey,

Sheriff Steve Dempsey,

Sheriff Steve Dempsey, who has been with the agency for 36 years, said this marks the first time in more than 35 years the county has had a deadly deputy-involved shooting.

Dempsey said the use of deadly force was necessary.

“Absolutely, it was the individual charged the officer with a knife,” he said.

While neither the identity of the victim nor the deputy has been released, the sheriff said the deputy has been with the force for three years.

The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave as is procedure while the Virginia State Police Shooting Investigative Team conduct an investigation.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragic event,” Dempsey said.

As for Mills, he said folks in the apartment complex off Tinsbloom Mill Lane won't soon forget what happened Saturday night.