RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond Police officer patrolling the area around the Richmond Inn & Suites on Midlothian Turnpike shot a man who pointed a gun in his direction, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham explained. Durham said the man who was shot was hit in the abdomen and was alert when he was taken to the hospital. Investigators recovered the weapon officers said the man pointed at them, Chief Durham said.
"At about 10:52 a.m. we had officers patrolling the area. They were conducting an investigation, an individual took off from them running. That individual fell down. At which time, while regaining his footing, he reached into his waistband and pointed a weapon toward the direction of our officers," Chief Durham said.
Police were attempting to question the man who they saw involved in a "hand-to-hand exchange" near the motel. The area is well-known to police for drug crimes and prostitution, the chief said.
"This is no strange neighborhood to our folks, just a week ago, last Wednesday, seven days ago, our officers were fired upon just on the other side this motel here on Midlothian," he said. "This hotel/motel here is where we get a majority of our calls for service for this precinct and there are some issues here."
Durham said the man was struck by a single bullet.
A video posted on Facebook, that appeared to be recorded in the moments after the shooting, showed some motel residents questioning police about why they shot the man. Anyone who witnessed the shooting and would like to describe what they saw is encouraged to do so here.
Richmond Police and the Richmond Commonweath's Attorney are investigating the officer-involved shooting.
"We have our forensics folks collecting any evidence so we can end up with a good investigation, get all the facts associated with this officer-involved shooting," the chief said. "Why would we bring somebody else in? We have an outstanding force investigative team made up of members of our internal affairs, of our major crime unit and the Commonwealth’s Attorney's Office. I think we get it right."
The police officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Chief Durham described the person who was shot as a 29-year-old man. He said the police officers involved in the shooting were veteran officers. This is a developing story.