Press Conference on Manhunt Investigation

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

October 23, 2006

The investigation into the shooting of a fugitive continued Monday. Charlottesville Police held a press conference answering questions about Friday’s manhunt.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo believes his officers were justified in shooting a dangerous wanted suspect, but is cautious releasing many details until a routine investigation by Virginia State Police is complete.

“He said he would not be taken in easily. It was his intention he not be caught,” said Longo.

Elvis Shifflett was not taken in easily. On the run for hours, he was shot several times by officers while evading capture.

“This much I will say; this individual posed a significant threat to the officers on the scene Friday afternoon,” said Longo.

At a press conference Monday, Longo stood behind his officers. He said they believed Shifflett would injure them or others when he tried to escape in a stolen flat bed truck. Police shouted for Shifflett to show his hands and when he did not, gunfire erupted. Police will not say if Shifflett was armed at the time, but confirm he had a weapon in the car he abandoned.

“The vehicle he fled from just off of Route 20, inside that vehicle was a loaded SKS semi automatic weapon,” said Longo.

Shifflett will survive his injuries and police may now have his brother to contend with. Authorities say Jeffrey Shifflett, a wanted suspect, has made new threats against police.

“We want very much to take Mr. Shifflett into custody in a very safe and uneventful fashion,” said Longo.

Both officers are now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by Virginia State Police. Virginia State Police say they have impounded the flat bed truck, have questioned officers and witnesses and examined forensic evidence, but their investigation may not be complete for weeks.

The Albemarle County Commonwealth's attorney told us he expects to be briefed by the state police on their preliminary findings within a week.

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