CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — A Virginia prosecutor has ruled that two Chesterfield County police officers were legally justified in using lethal force to defend themselves in separate shootings after standoffs with two suspects, one of whom was killed.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney Stacey Davenport issued her rulings after her office reviewed evidence in both cases.
In the Jan. 14 killing of Jeffrey Kite, who was shot as officers tried arresting him on criminal charges, “we concluded that Chesterfield police officers fired their weapons at Mr. Kite only after he had first fired upon them at very close range,” Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Nesbitt said in an email.
“The officers correctly determined Mr. Kite to be an immediate and deadly threat to everyone in his presence and everyone in close proximity to the residence,” Nesbitt added. “They acted in accordance with their duties. Mr. Kite’s death was tragic, but the officers lawfully and justifiably defended themselves and their fellow officers with the force that was necessary under the circumstances.”
In the second case, Bruce Terry was shot and wounded during a Feb. 18 domestic incident while armed with a rifle, Nesbitt said. “Given Mr. Terry’s actions and the facts known to the officers at the time, the officers lawfully discharged their weapons in defense of themselves, each other, and a civilian present in the residence.,” she said.
Police declined to release the names of the officers involved in the shootings.