Local / Virginia

Victim in Portsmouth police shooting identified


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia State Police released the identity of an 18-year-old man on Thursday who was shot and killed by a Portsmouth police officer in a Wal-Mart parking lot a day earlier.

Police said the person killed Wednesday morning was Portsmouth resident William L. Chapman II, who lives about three miles from where the shooting occurred. State police said the Portsmouth officer was responding to a call from Wal-Mart security about shoplifting at the time.

Police said Chapman was crossing the parking lot on foot when he was approached by the officer, who has not been identified. State police said a struggle ensued between the officer and Chapman.

Police have not said how many times shots were fired or whether Chapman was carrying a weapon. It’s also unclear whether any video of the incident exists. State police have said that, if there is video, it wouldn’t be publicly released because it is considered part of an ongoing investigation. On April 16, the city ordered 220 body cameras for its police force. The contract specifies a June 1 delivery.

Portsmouth Police spokeswoman Detective Misty Holley has said the Portsmouth officer did not have a partner with him at the time of the shooting.

Police said the officer requested medical attention after the shooting, but Chapman was pronounced dead at the scene about 10 minutes later. Chapman’s remains have been taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Norfolk for an examination and autopsy.

State police are investigating the shooting at the request of Portsmouth Police Chief Ed Hargis. The Portsmouth Police Department is also conducting an internal investigation, and the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcomes of the investigations.

Chapman was the second person shot and killed by a Portsmouth police officer in the past 30 days.

On March 24, an officer fatally shot a drug suspect who fled when police attempted to question him. In that case, Portsmouth police said 29 year-old Walter J. Brown III nearly struck a detective with his vehicle as he fled. Police later caught up with Brown at a house and used a Taser on him twice. Police said that, after the second use of the Taser, Brown produced a gun, leading a responding officer to fire between three and five shots. Brown died at the scene. Virginia State Police are also investigating that shooting.


Brock Vergakis can be reached at www.twitter.com/BrockVergakis


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