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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

JCCPD: No Charges for Officer Who Fired Weapon at Armed Man in January Incident

A James City County Police car

JAMES CITY COUNTY — The James City County Police Department announced that following an investigation conducted by the Virginia State Police, the Williamsburg/James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney has determined that no criminal offense occurred on the part of an officer who fired his weapon after a suspect allegedly drew a shotgun at officers following a domestic dispute in the Lake Powell Pointe subdivision in January.

The incident occurred at 6:55 p.m. on Jan. 6 in the 5200 block of Pierside Reach. According to officials, on Jan. 6, the James City County Police Department (JCCPD) responded to reports of an armed individual, the result of a verbal domestic dispute involving a husband, 83-year-old James City County resident Paul Baker — the armed suspect — and the caller. During the dispute, the suspect had brandished and threatened the caller with a shotgun, obstructing them from exiting the residence, police said.

The caller and armed suspect had emerged from the residence by the time police arrived, and at approximately 7:03 p.m., two responding officers took cover while the armed suspect moved throughout the front yard, police said.

While an officer verbally commanded the suspect to drop the firearm, the second officer evacuated the caller to cover. The suspect then advanced toward the officers with the shotgun drawn, and one of the officers discharged their firearm, police said. The suspect then dropped the weapon, and officers pursued and detained the suspect.

No one was injured, according to police.

The Department said it is “committed to handling all serious incidents, including officer-involved shootings, with the highest level of diligence and impartiality” and in adherence to established protocols, the investigation was transferred to the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations at the request of Chief Mark Jamison.

“I commend the bravery and professionalism exhibited by our officers involved in the Jan. 6 incident. Policing is inherently dangerous, and our officers put their lives on the line daily to protect our community,” Jamison said. “I would like to thank the Virginia State Police for conducting a thorough and impartial investigation into the incident, the Commonwealth Attorney’s office for diligently examining the findings and providing a fair and just assessment of the situation, and the public for their patience as an independent review was conducted.”

During the investigation, the officer involved was placed on a non-enforcement assignment. The officer has resumed normal duties.

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