Police ID man found dead outside burning Chesterfield home

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Police have identified the man found dead outside a burning Chesterfield home.

“James W. Smith Jr., 44, appeared to have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” a Chesterfield Police spokesperson said. “[Smith] was the man whose welfare police had responded to check.”

Police were called to the 3400 block of North Street on the morning of February 22 when someone asked officers check on Smith.

“Upon arrival, police saw a man walk around the back of the house. Moments later, they saw the house catch fire and heard what sounded like a gunshot,” the police spokesperson said. “Chesterfield County Fire & EMS responded and officers provided scene security. Officers checked the surrounding area for the man; area schools, including Virginia State University, were locked down during the search.”

The investigation into the incident remains on-going.

Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.

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