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Investigation into police shooting outside Wawa complete

Posted at 10:33 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 10:33:14-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A Prince George County police officer who shot and injured an abduction suspect outside a Wawa gas station on S. Crater Road in Petersburg was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Virginia State Police and the Petersburg Commonwealth Attorney's Office announced the results of an investigation into the October 12 incident.

"Based upon review and analysis of the evidence, the applicable law, and the totality of the circumstances surrounding this incident, I have determined that the officer’s decisions and actions which included the discharge of his service weapon on October 12, 2020 were reasonable in response to an imminent threat to himself and the public," Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Tiffany Buckner wrote in a statement sent to media. "The very thorough investigation conducted by the VSP and subsequent reports indicate there is no criminal liability on the part of the officer involved."

Law enforcement sources told CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil that the incident began at a convenience store in the town of Jarratt, Virginia where people saw a person being moved with a gun to their back.

"Area law enforcement received a Be On the Lookout for a suspect vehicle involved in an armed abduction that had taken place at gunpoint in Sussex County," Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller wrote in an email about the situation. "As state and local law enforcement were searching for the suspect vehicle - a silver Pontiac -, it was located at a convenience store/gas station located at the intersection of Wagner Road and South Crater Road in the City of Petersburg."

Shots were fired during an interaction between police and the people in the vehicle, those sources indicated.

"A Petersburg Police Officer was the first to respond and Prince George County Police Officers were to second to respond to the location," Geller's email continued. "During the officers' interaction with the abduction suspect, a Prince George County Police Officer fired at the suspect. A handgun was located inside the suspect vehicle."

One person in the driver's seat of the vehicle was shot. That person was taken to hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries.

Two other people, described by police as a 25-year-old abduction victim and a 17-year-old abduction victim, remained on the scene and were not hurt.