- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - The officer who shot and killed a 23-year-old man who was carrying a sawed-off shotgun was also involved in a previous shooting, Newport News Police Chief Richard W. Myers said Wednesday.

Myers declined to provide any other details about the prior shooting or whether there was any disciplinary action involved. He said in the past five years, police officers fired at suspects nine times, killing two and wounding four. The last time a Newport News police officer fatally shot someone was 2011.

Myers said the officer who fired three shots at Kawanza J. Beaty about 2 a.m. on July 4 was a narcotics officer who has been with the department for eight years. He said the officer remains on administrative duty and that his identity would not be released until the commonwealth’s attorney makes a decision whether to press any charges. The police investigation is expected to wrap up in late August, Myers said.

Myers said Beaty, who is black, was fatally shot after he failed to obey commands to drop the shotgun following a foot chase. He said Beaty was originally hiding the weapon underneath a military-style, camouflage jacket when officers first approached him and said they needed to speak with him.

Myers said all three officers at the scene believed Beaty was pointing the weapon at one of the responding officers at the time of the shooting. Myers said one witness heard police tell Beaty to drop the weapon.

Once the narcotics detective saw Beaty raise his weapon, he fired at Beaty, hitting him in the head, Myers said. He said the officer shot Beaty from 20 to 30 feet away.

The shotgun was later found to be unloaded. The shotgun was also reported stolen from neighboring Hampton.


Brock Vergakis can be reached at www.twitter.com/BrockVergakis



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