A Virginia state attorney has ruled that two Chesterfield County police officers are legally justified in using lethal force to defend themselves in separate shootings after confrontations with two suspects, one of whom was killed.
The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that Chesterfield attorney Stacey Davenport made her judgments after her office reviewed the evidence in both cases.
Geoffrey Kate was killed, who was shot while officers attempted to arrest him on criminal charges. “We concluded that Chesterfield Police Officers only fired their weapons at Mister Kate after he shot them at very close range,” said Deputy Jennifer Nesbitt Head of the Commonwealth in an email.
“The officers correctly determined that Mr. Kate was an immediate and lethal threat to everyone in his presence and everyone in the vicinity of the house,” Nesbitt added.
They acted according to their duties. Mr. Kate’s death was tragic, but the officers legally and justifiably defended themselves and their fellow officers with the force that was necessary under the circumstances. “
In the second case, Nesbitt said, Bruce Terry was shot during a local accident on February 18 while carrying a rifle. “Given the actions of Mr. Terry and the facts that were known to the officers at the time, the officers legally unloaded their weapons in defense of themselves, each other and the civilian in the house,” she said.
The police refused to reveal the names of the officers involved in the shooting.