Medical examiner rules William Chapman's death a homicide

Deadly police shooting in Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH -- The 18-year-old man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Portsmouth on April 22 was shot in the face and chest, Medical Examiner Donna Price said Tuesday.

Price ruled the death of William L. Chapman II a homicide.

That was the second police-involved shooting in Portsmouth this year and Virginia State Police are handling the investigation.

Investigators said Walmart security called Portsmouth Police about a shoplifting report around 7:30 a.m. at the store on Frederick Blvd. near Hamilton Avenue.

They said the man was crossing the parking lot on foot when he was approached by an officer.

Spokeswoman Det. Misty Holley said, "A Portsmouth police officer was involved in a shooting incident this morning at 7:35 a.m. The man shot by the officer was pronounced deceased at the scene at 7:45 a.m."

Witnesses told 13News Now that the man charged at the officer and then the officer fired two shots. They didn't know if the man had a weapon.

Leroy Woodman said he was working on top of the WaWa that is under construction next to the Walmart. He estimated he was a couple of hundred yards from the entrance, where the shooting took place.

"It was horrible. I've never seen anything like that," he said.

Woodman recounted what he saw:

"We looked over and it looked like just a normal arrest. He (the officer) had a man up against the fender of his car, looked like he was getting ready to cuff him. Well, I guess right when he went to put cuffs on the guy, the guy resisted and they got into a tussle and he ended up breaking apart from the officer. So they were kind of in a little standoff. The officer pulled his taser out, they ended up in a tussle again, and the taser got knocked out of his hand somehow. At that point, the officer pulled his gun out. He stepped back a couple steps and the guy, he pulled his shirt off and took a couple steps towards the cop like he was ready to fight. So the cop opened fire and that was the end of it. The man hit the ground and the officer jumped down and administered CPR right away, but I don't think there was much he could really do."

"The Portsmouth police chief has asked for our assistance," said Sgt. Michelle Anaya with Va. State Police. "We have been asked to handle the shooting investigation."

Det. Holley stated, "Chief Ed Hargis has asked the Virginia State Police to investigate this case because it is our second officer involved shooting in a month. In addition, the Virginia State Police have the resources readily available to handle the entire investigation from start to finish to include the processing of the crime scene. By asking the Virginia State Police to investigate this case we are ensuring that an independent and unbiased conclusion is made at the end of this investigation."

The Portsmouth chapter of the NAACP is also investigating. Chapter president James Boyd told 13News Now the recent shooting is very upsetting.

"The community is outraged and angered by what's been going on, by what's been going on in our community for the last couple of months. They want answers and we want answers!" Boyd stated. "Not only what happened here today but what happened within the last couple of months, with Walter Brown."

Brown was killed on March 24 in Portsmouth during a drug investigation, police stated.

13News Now reports: Portsmouth Walmart violence

Officers were searching the Walmart parking lot for evidence and had blocked off the area. The store was closed for the day.

Streets around the store were blocked, so drivers were having to detour.

Some people say they no longer trust police officers.

"The police could say whatever they want," Pat Calvin said. "I'm scared of the police more than the gangsters."

"I think the officers could be -- they could do something different in order to get somebody down, to taking them down," Arthur Glover said. "It's really sad. It's causing a lot of chaos."

The officer involved in the shooting is on administrative leave.


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