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Commonwealth’s attorney: No criminal charges for deputy who fired gun

Kalyn Hall (WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the York-Poquoson Sheriffs Office)
Kalyn Hall (WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the York-Poquoson Sheriffs Office)

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s deputy who fired his gun during a traffic stop involving two William & Mary law school students will not face criminal charges, the Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said Monday.

“Upon review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the discharge of a firearm by York County Sheriff’s Deputy Kalyn Hall, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has concluded that no criminal charges are warranted at this time,” said Nate Green, the commonwealth’s attorney, in a memo to Williamsburg Police Chief Sean Dunn.

Also, there apparently was a civilian inside the deputy’s cruiser during the traffic stop, information both Williamsburg Police and the York-Poquoson’s Sheriff’s Office withheld from the public.

It was a ride along. Green’s report identified the rider as Matthew Hayes, who is Hall’s friend.

“I’m not privy to that,” said Williamsburg Police spokesman John Heilman in regards to releasing the information to the media or the public. “I’ll look into it and get back to you.”

WYDaily reached out to Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs and left a voicemail. He did not immediately return that message.

According to Green’s report, the presence of the deputy’s finger on the trigger may have been “ill advised” and “evidence of some level of negligence” however it is not considered recklessness per state code.

RELATED STORY: A York County deputy ‘accidentally’ shot his pistol early Thursday night. Cops told the public Friday afternoon

At approximately 6:40 p.m. on Feb. 21, Hall attempted to stop a Honda sedan near Advance Auto Parts, 500 block of Merrimac Trail for not having its tail lights on, according to Green’s report. Hall used emergency lights, his siren and airhorn but the driver of the Honda, Yuwei Hu, a law student from the College of William & Mary, thought the deputy was pursuing someone else and would go around her, the report said.

The car, which contained Hu and Lu Zhang, also a law student from William & Mary, stopped at 400 block of Merrimac Trail in the parking lot of Parkway Apartments, Green noted in his report.

Hu, the driver began to get out of the vehicle and the deputy drew his weapon with his finger on the trigger and ordered her back into her car, according to the memo. The deputy’s gun fired and hit the ground and rebounded into the driver’s side door, the Williamsburg Police Department said. No one was injured.

Hall uttered a couple of curse words and called for backup before approaching the driver’s side door, while he was questioned by Hu and Zhang for shooting at them. Hall replied, “I’m sorry”, Green’s report said.

Both law enforcement agencies issued two news releases to the media within minutes of each other, 19 hours after the incident. The deputy was put on paid administrative leave and the two law students reported the incident to the college shortly after.

Diggs declined to release the identity of the deputy during that time.

RELATED STORY: York-Poquoson’s top cop insists his deputy ‘accidentally’ fired his weapon. But an investigation has not determined that

The sheriff’s office conducted an internal investigation and asked the police department to conduct an external investigation, which the department sent to the commonwealth attorney’s office a week after the incident.

RELATED STORY: It’s been a week since a YPSO deputy fired his gun during a stop involving two W&M students. Questions remain

WYDaily requested that report Thursday and the Williamsburg Police Department sent a redacted one-page report of the incident, citing the report was considered a criminal investigation information and therefore protected under the Freedom of Information Act.

In the report, the police department wrote the stop occurred in a parking lot/garage of the Parkway Apartments not the entrance of the complex, which contradicts the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office news release.

WYDaily repeatedly called the YPSO and Shelley Ward, its spokeswoman, but she did not return phone calls and resorted to emailing WYDaily asking for a list of questions. It is not clear if YPSO has finished their internal investigation into the incident, what the department’s findings are and whether Hall will face consequences within the department.

RELATED STORY: WATCH: York daughter, father appear on Today Show to meet first responders who saved man’s life

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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