Anatomy of a police shooting

On October 20, 2006 Charlottesville Police shot and wounded Elvis Gene Shifflett after a three-hour manhunt involving over 60 officers, two helicopters, police dogs, and ATVs. Here’s my coverage of events so far…

Riddled: What happens after police shootings? (2nd part of two-part story)

While the fallout from the Robert Lee Cooke shooting continues after two years, the fallout from a more recent police shooting is just beginning.

As widely reported, two Charlottesville police officers shot and wounded Elvis Shifflett, 38, of Esmont, after a three-hour manhunt October 20 that involved over 60 officers, several ATVs, search dogs, and two helicopters.

Although such events happen in a matter of seconds, as the Cooke shooting proves, the investigations, lawsuits, and public debate often continue for years.

Indeed, as Charlottesville police captain Bryant A. Bibb told the Daily Progress recently, “It’s a traumatic thing to have to do, and a lot of times the frustration of what comes after is tough too.” Bibb speaks from experience. In 1988, he shot and killed a suspected thief outside the Terrace Theater.

“We came out with police gear and challenged him to put the gun [a sawed-off shotgun] down,” says Bibb. “Instead, he raised the gun up and pointed it at us.”

Of course, devastating actions like this are equally traumatic for the shooting victim and families involved.

Elvis Shifflett’s family members say that, except for a short visit three days after the shooting, they’ve been prevented from seeing Shifflett, whom they fear may have been permanently disabled in the incident. Local police officials, meanwhile, decline to answer specific questions about the shooting because results of a State Police investigation are pending. More
Shifflett moved from rehab to jail

Elvis Gene Shifflett, who was shot by Charlottesville police following a manhunt on October 20, has been transfered from UVA’s HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital to the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, according to family members. More

Camblos: “There will be no criminal charges filed

According to a late afternoon news release, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos has decided not to file criminal charges against the two Charlottesville police officers involved in the October 20 shooting of Elvis Gene Shifflett, and he has officially closed the investigation. Camblos, who received the results of the Virginia State Police investigation into the shooting only yesterday, said that no charges would be filed against Sgt. M. G. Davis, the Charlottesville officer who shot Shifflett, or against Charlottesville officer J. Morris, who “shot one of the tires of the truck Mr. Shifflett was driving at the time he was shot.”

Shifflett charged; cops cleared

On the same day that Albemarle Police announced three new felony charges against Elvis Gene Shifflett, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo held a press conference to announce an investigation by State Police has exonerated the officers who shot Shifflett.

“These are split second decisions,” said Longo, adding that Sergeant Melvin G. Davis and Officer James Morris believed their lives or lives of others were in imminent danger when they shot at Shifflett as he tried to make his escape from Brookhill Avenue on October 20. Charlottesville Police will now conduct thier own investigation of the officer’s conduct, to ensure officer’s followed the department’s protocol for use of deadly force. More

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