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Albemarle County Police Chief Defends Officer-Involved Shooting

August 23, 2013

The officer-involved shooting death of Greg Rosson is the second in Albemarle County in as many months. On Friday night, Albemarle County's police chief weighed in, defending his department and the officer responsible for shooting and killing the 21-year-old.

"I think he responded in the way he could best deal with the situation," Sellers said. "I think his actions probably saved a woman's life that night and his actions probably saved his own life that night."

According to police reports, Officer James Larkin responded to a 911 call on Rockfish Gap Turnpike in Albemarle County. Larkin found Rosson holding a woman in a chokehold and punching her repeatedly in the face. According to the documents, Rosson charged Officer Larkin and that's when the officer fired six shots.

"It puts us under great scrutiny by the community in the terms of what we're doing," Sellers said.

The police chief also defended the department's policy on using deadly force, saying it varies. "It varies on the amount of information that is known before the officer responds to that situation and it varies depending on what the officer believes he sees when he arrives on the scene and what the threat level is."

When asked why the officer didn't use a taser on Rosson, Sellers explained most Albemarle County officers don't carry tasers and that the department is applying for a grant for funding to buy more tasers for officers to carry.

Officer Larkin has been working on restricted duty for the past few months but will return to normal duty after a departmental debriefing and administration review.

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