NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia fatally shot a man after he shot and wounded an officer, authorities said Monday.
The shootings happened about 11:15 p.m. Sunday after officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon, Norfolk Police said in a statement.
When the officers arrived, they were told that a man was inside a nearby house with a gun, the statement said. When the officers tried to make contact with the man, he shot one of them, police said. Other officers on scene returned fire, striking the man, who died on the scene despite receiving first aid.
The injured officer was struck in his bulletproof vest. He was treated at a hospital and released.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, as is customary, and Virginia State Police are investigating the shooting.
State police said in a statement that the man was white, but authorities were still trying to confirm his identity.
People in the neighborhood who encountered him for the first time in the hours before the shootings said he was acting paranoid and as if he was on drugs.
Angie Graupmann, 52, said Monday that a man who she believes is the same person approached her in her front yard Sunday night. She said he told her the police were after him and that his wife had called a hit man to kill him. He also said he’d been hiding in dumpsters for days.
“I thought he was crazy — that he was on drugs,” she said. “He was really scary.”
Sometime later, the man approached the residents of a small apartment complex across the street. Debra Wilson, 21, said she first saw him hiding under a staircase outside.
Wilson said he also told her about a hit man, and that he had been hiding “in the water” for days, possibly a reference to nearby Chesapeake Bay.
“His jaw was to the side of his face and his eyes were bugged out,” Wilson said. “We offered to call police but he said ‘no.’ A neighbor gave him a cigarette, and he said, ‘Thank you so much. I’m not here to hurt anybody.’”
Sometime later, Wilson said she saw the man sitting in a plastic chair in the dark with his legs crossed and holding something in his hand that she couldn’t identify.
A neighbor called police. Wilson went inside her apartment. She said she believes the man entered the vacant unit next door, which had a busted window.
Wilson said police arrived and eventually moved the apartment complex’s residents into one unit. About 30 minutes later, she said she heard yelling and about six gunshots.
Carissa Amador, 29, who lives a few doors down, said officers with shields and guns drawn had walked toward the apartment building.
Amador said she could hear the police ask the man if he was OK before the gunshots began.