CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- A security guard who fatally shot a man in Chesapeake last month appeared in court Friday by video for his arraignment.
Johnathan Cromwell is charged with second degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of murder. The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney announced Thursday that the two warrants had been issued for Cromwell, who turned himself in to Virginia Beach Police around 5:20 p.m. that same day.
Investigators say on the night of January 26, 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen was shot and killed by Cromwell following a confrontation in Chesapeake's River Walk neighborhood. A lawyer representing Chen's family says the grandfather was in his vehicle outside the River Walk Clubhouse, playing Pokemon Go at the time of the shooting.
"[Pokemon Go] was a way that he has found to relate to his nieces and nephews and his grandchildren," said attorney Greg Sandler.
According to a media release from Commonwealth's Attorney Nancy Parr, Chen had pulled into the driveway of the clubhouse parking lot when Cromwell pulled his vehicle in front of Chen's, forcing the man to stop. Chen backed up and turned his vehicle around when he was shot.
Cromwell had reportedly gotten out of his car and told the victim to stop before firing his weapon.
Chen was shot once in the upper left arm and four times in his upper left chest.
The Commonwealth's Attorney brought charges against Cromwell due to evidence presented by Chesapeake Police, who continue their investigation into the shooting.
Andrew Sacks, the lawyer representing Cromwell's employer, Citywide Protection Services, Inc., issued a statement Thursday evening:
On February 6, 2017, I issued a statement on behalf of my client, Citywide Protection Services, Inc.
The Company, through me, conducted an investigation of their employee’s actions, utilizing the resources and information available to the Company at that time.
The Company concluded that their employee’s actions were taken in justifiable self-defense.
Nothing has changed the Company’s position since that time; and the Company continues to stand by its view, based on its investigation, that their employee’s actions were lawful and in self-defense.
Thank you very much.Respectfully,
Andrew M. Sacks
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 26.