NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- The 23-year-old man shot and killed by a Newport News officer on July 4 was holding an unloaded sawed-off shotgun, Police Chief Richard Myers said in a press conference Wednesday.

Chief Myers updated the media about the officer-involved shooting that killed Kawanza Jamal Beaty.

Myers said officers received information from a reliable source that someone had a shotgun near 18th Street and Peterson Place around 2 a.m.

Myers said it was Beaty, whose last address was in the 1100 block of Garden Drive.

13News Now reports: Officer-involved shootings

Myers said a detective went to the area, based on that tip. He called for back-up and a sergeant and an officer with a K-9 arrived in Stuart Gardens.

Myers explained Beaty ran when the officers approached him and refused to stop and talk to them.

Myers said at some point, Beaty pointed the sawed-off shotgun at the sergeant.

The detective fired three rounds. Beaty was shot in the head, Myers said.

No officers were hurt.

Myers said police recovered a sawed-off shotgun near Beaty. He added that the shotgun had been stolen from another jurisdiction.

"It doesn't make sense. It's not adding up," said Beaty's childhood friend Dwayne Sykes. "He was a great person, and I don't want nobody to think he was some thug or anything like that."

The detective involved in the incident remains on administrative duty, pending the outcome of the investigations. That is standard procedure for all officer-involved shootings.

A criminal investigation is being conducted by the Newport News Police Department's Homicide Unit and an administrative internal investigation is being conducted by the Newport News Police Department's Professional Standards Division.ID=30194047

The police department on July 10 provided this update on its investigation:

  • The criminal investigative team is comprised of two Homicide detectives and the Homicide supervisor. In addition, several other units within the department are assisting to include Gangs, Intelligence, Forensics, and Law Enforcement Analysts.
  • The administrative internal investigative team is comprised of two detectives and a supervisor all with investigative experience and do not work with the officers involved in the incident. The team is operating under the oversight of Professional Standards Division.
  • All three involved officers have been interviewed and have provided statements.
  • The involved officers have received psychological review to address any issues and assess status for eventual return to duty; however, at this time they remain on administrative leave with pay.
  • The neighborhood has been canvassed for additional evidence.
  • The shotgun has been submitted for fingerprint and DNA testing.
  • The officer's duty weapon and three casings have been submitted for processing.
  • Mr. Beaty's phone has been submitted for downloading and analysis.
  • The radio traffic from the incident is being reviewed for timeline and investigative details.
  • Approximately 25 interviews have been completed to include medics, officers, family of Mr. Beaty and citizen witnesses.