Police ID officer who fatally shot suspect during traffic stop

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police have identified both the officer and the suspect who was killed following an officer-involved shooting in the city’s southside on Monday.

The incident occurred shortly after 6 p.m. in the 3800 of Lynhaven Avenue. According to police, the officer involved and the suspect got into an altercation during a traffic stop. At some point during the altercation, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said Officer Cleophas Williams fired a single gunshot and struck the suspect.

The suspect, who has been identified as 29-year-old Jason Fitzgerald of the 1900 block of Accommodation Street, was transported to VCU Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

Police say Fitzgerald was being sought on several warrants, including attempted murder, in connection with a domestic dispute with a female companion and her family. Earlier in the day Monday, it was reported to police that Fitzgerald had shot at a family member of the woman.

The suspect’s vehicle was later spotted on Lynhaven Avenue. During a traffic stop, Chief Durham said Williams, two-year veteran with the department, shot Fitzgerald during an altercation. A weapon was recovered at the scene, according to police.

“I am saddened by the fact that the Richmond Police Department is having to investigate a case like this one,” RPD Chief Alfred Durham said. “Using lethal force is one of the most difficult decisions a police officer must make in the line of duty. My thoughts are with Officer Williams, Jaison Fitzgerald and their families.”

Officer Williams, who was not wearing a body camera at the time of the incident, has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Durham added that detectives have been unable to locate any video of the shooting, either from officers or bystanders.

The Department’s Force Investigation Team (FIT), comprised of Major Crimes Division detectives, are investigating the fatal shooting and will present their findings to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for review.

They have spoken to several residents of the neighborhood and ask anyone who may have seen, heard or videotaped the incident to contact Detective W. Thompson at (804) 646-3925 or by calling Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or www.7801000.com or by texting Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the keyword “iTip” followed by your tip. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

Click here to check on crime in your area.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

Never miss another Facebook post from 8News.

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.