New Details, Charges in Birdwood Court Police-Involved Shooting

July 1, 2013

The man shot by an Albemarle County police officer in Charlottesville on May 26 now faces four charges.

At an evidence hearing Monday, a grand jury indicted Josue Salinas Valdez on charges of DUI, felony hit and run, assault of a law enforcement officer and attempted malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer.

While police have remained tight lipped about the case, a release from the Commonwealth's Attorney Office reveals more details about the investigation conducted by Charlottesville police.

According to the release, the officer-involved shooting followed an apparent hit-and-run at the intersection of Seminole Trail and Seminole Court.

The driver of the car that was rear ended called police and reported the driver of the other vehicle fled the scene and sped through Seminole Square Shopping Center.

Less than ten minutes later, police found the suspect vehicle at 105 Birdwood Court. The car was registered to Salinas Valdez, who matched the description of the driver police were looking for.

Two officers began to question Salinas Valdez who, according to the release, smelled of alcohol. Salinas Valdez approached the officers and a physical struggle ensued, injuring officer William Underwood.

The release says officer James Herring used his taser twice during the struggle, but Salinas Valdez continued to resist the officers' orders.

Salinas Valdez got a hold of Underwood's baton and refused to drop it, according to the release.

Officer Herring returned to his car to get a second cartridge for his taser. At that time, Salinas Valdez approached Underwood, who drew his gun and demanded the man drop the baton.

When he didn't, Underwood told Salinas Valdez two times that he would shoot him if he did not follow instructions, according to the release.

The release states officer Underwood shot Salinas Valdez once in the torso.

Officer Underwood is not facing any criminal charges.

The grand jury reviewed evidence including an audio recording of the incident, recorded statements from the officers immediately following the shooting, the results of a toxicology report indicating Salinas Valdez's blood alcohol level and Albemarle County and Charlottesville police training manuals regarding the use of force.

Salinas Valdez is scheduled to appear in Charlottesville Circuit Court Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.


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