Prosecutor Rules Va. Police Shooting Justified

August 12, 2010

A prosecutor says Richmond police officers thought a homicide suspect wielding a high-heeled shoe had a gun when they fatally shot him.

Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland said Wednesday that the July 14 shooting was justified.

Thorne-Begland says 22-year-old Jataynun Fleming emerged from a bathroom following a standoff and pointed the shoe's four-inch heel at officers. A shirt was wrapped around Fleming's outstretched hands and the heel appeared to be a gun barrel.

Fleming was shot seven times by two members of the city's SWAT team.

The officers weren't identified. Police spokesman Gene Lepley says they have returned to active duty.

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