Richmond Police Chief says officers were defending themselves

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A stern Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham says his officers were justified when they shot and killed Keshawn Hargrove Wednesday.

“This is not Ferguson and this is not South Charleston. And I refuse to allow the community to paint a picture that we have a bunch of rogue officers that are out of control. That is not the case, ” stressed Durham.

The chief says deceased suspect Keshawn Hargrove, who has a lengthy criminal record, fired at veteran officers Ryan Bailey and Jacob DeBoard multiple times, hitting Officer Bailey, a nine year veteran of the force in the shoulder.

The chief told reporters, “Mr. Hargrove was a convicted felon with a firearm, he decided to turn and shoot at our officers.”

The chief says the incident unfolded after police received a 911 call about an armed man in the fan neighborhood. When Officer Bailey, who is black, and Officer DeBoard, who is white, arrived on scene, they first tried to talk to Hargrove but he fled on foot, police chased him and the chief says Hargrove pointed his gun at the officers and opened fire.

“I love this community. Our officers love what they do, but guess what? We have bad people out there, let’s face it, says the chief.

Despite community claims of multiple rounds being fired at the Hargrove, the chief says the preliminary investigation shows the officers never reloaded their magazines and hit Hargrove only once.

“He sustained one gunshot wound, the autopsy was done this morning and he sustained one gunshot wound.”

The chief went on to call Hargrove’s mom an angel who helped calm the scene.

He also offered condolences to the family.

Officer Bailey is out of the hospital, the chief says he is in good spirits and wants to get back to work. However he and DeBoard are on administrative leave as the commonwealth’s attorney does their own investigation.

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