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Airport officer arrested for trespassing near Lee monument

Woman: 'We wake up to this guy on top of this building brandishing a weapon'
Posted at 8:58 AM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 23:32:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police have arrested a man near the Lee Monument for trespassing after receiving calls for about an armed person near Richmond's famed Monument Avenue Saturday morning.

Officers were called at around 6:30 a.m to investigate a report of a person spotted on the roof of an unoccupied building overlooking the Lee Monument. Eyewitnesses say he was armed.

Police asked people to avoid the are while they searched the building and surrounding area.

Police arrested Riley O’Shaughnessey, 38, of Richmond a little before 8 a.m. He has been charged with trespassing.

He was armed with a handgun but it was being carried lawfully, according to police.

"O’Shaughnessey is employed as an officer with the Richmond International Airport Police Department," said Richmond Police said in a statement. "At the time of his arrest, he was not carrying any law enforcement identification."

Officers searched the building but nothing additional was found.

When asked for a comment, a Richmond International Airport spokesman said, "The Capital Region Airport Commission does not comment on personnel matters.”

A witness who identifies as Lady said she was camping in the grass when she was woken up Saturday morning.

"I'm camping because I just feel like we need to occupy the space and make people feel like, 'OK, other people are camping here so we can feel safe,'" she said.

She works with the non-profit, Richmond Food Not Bombs, currently providing food and first aid to protesters. The witness stated she saw the suspect recording the area around the Lee Statue from the roof.

"Someone told me he had a gun and when I looked up he was physically pointing it at people," she recalled. "The fact we are all out here peacefully and we are just camping and then we wake up to this guy on top of this building brandishing a weapon."

The circle has reopened to traffic but the investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.