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74-year-old Virginia man fatally shot by officers fired first, police say

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Posted at 12:34 PM, Aug 31, 2023

HOPEWELL, Va. — Authorities have released the name of a 74-year-old man who died after he was shot by officers in a Hopewell neighborhood Wednesday night.

Hopewell Police were dispatched to the 2700 block of Gordon Street at 7:25 p.m. after a 911 call about a man with a gun "actively firing shots," officials said.

The man was aiming at cars driving by, Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett.

When police arrived, neighbors told Burkett they heard officers telling the man to drop the gun.

"Officers... observed the suspect holding two firearms," Jacquita Allen with Hopewell Police said. "The officers on scene repeatedly gave the suspect clear and concise verbal commands in an attempt to de-escalate the situation, but the suspect refused to comply. The officers continued to give verbal commands to the suspect to gain compliance."

However, when police said Berkley Lee Collins Jr., of Hopewell," discharged his firearm," officers returned fire.

Neighbors told Burkett they heard a gunshot followed by a barrage of gunfire.

Officers rendered aid to Collins, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

No officers were injured, officials said.

Five officers involved are on paid administrative leave as is procedure, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Crime Insider sources tell Burkett that the Hopewell Police Department has to get creative with scheduling due to the shooting. Sources also say that the number of officers on administrative is about a third of the department's patrol personnel.

Allen said Virginia State Police are leading the investigation into the shooting.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations at 804 674-2133. If you have information and wish to remain anonymous, call the Hopewell Prince George Crime Solvers at 804-541-2202 or provide their tip using the P3tips mobile app.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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