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Family Visits Shifflett, Eyewitness Speaks Out

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

October 23, 2006

After playing a three day guessing game as to Elvis Shifflett's condition, immediate family members were granted access to see him Monday. Now knowing he's in serious but stable condition, they have new concerns.

"I don't fully understand the force that they took, he was only one man with 55 officers, dogs you name it they had it out there. You know how much could one man on feet do," Elvis Shifflett's cousin Patricia Shifflett said.

When asked, police say there was a weapon in the vehicle, but wouldn't say if he was carrying the rifle at the time of the incident. The person in the car with him during the chase said he was not.

"The police were well aware that he was not armed and he was not, maybe they could have considered him dangerous, but he did not have a weapon and I guess the procedures they took by shooting him that many times was really ridiculous, he was not armed," Crystal Morris said.

Morris said a conversation she had with police after Shifflett tried to flee the scene let them know he was unarmed, and family members say another conversation with police that day led them to believe it would be a peaceful capture

"One of the officers did come up to a family member, shake his hand and say 'Hey I don't feel that there's a reason to use force as far as shooting anything that shouldn't happen you know we've got enough people out here that can take care of it,' a few seconds later, boom boom," Patricia Shifflett continued.

Family members that saw him Monday said he is still in serious condition. He was hit in the arm, chest and throat, he was unable to talk and police would not allow him to communicate through writing.

The family had to wait until Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail granted permission for them to see Elvis. He is now considered a prisoner, he's just being held at the hospital.


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