NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – 10 On Your Side is uncovering more about a fatal officer-involved shooting in Norfolk earlier this month.
According to an emergency room report, 35-year-old David Latham was shot at least eight times by a Norfolk police officer on June 6. The incident happened at Latham’s home on West 30th Street. His family said he suffered from mental illness.
“We need more answers,” said Latham’s aunt, Barbara Latham-White.
Latham’s family members said they called police to get medical attention for Latham that night. They said he was off his medication and had a knife in his hand. He was standing in front of his front door when four officers arrived. Police said the officers felt threatened.
“One of these officers ended up opening fire and shooting him,” said attorney John Cooper, who is representing the Latham family.
10 On Your Side obtained a copy of the emergency room doctor’s report. It says Latham had at least eight different wounds: he was shot twice in the chest, twice in the back, in the arm pit and in the hands.
“If they are going to shoot to kill, which is my understanding that they were attempting to do, why couldn’t they have done that with two bullets to the chest?” Cooper asked. “Why are they continuing to shoot when he appears to be on the ground, where they are putting shots into his back?”
Only one of the four officers fired his weapon. Family members said after Latham was hit three times, he stumbled back into the home and officers followed.
“You wouldn’t do a dog that way, to shoot a dog while he is already down, and to do a human being that way?” Latham-White said.
“That’s one of the questions that we do have,” Cooper said. “The idea that if there are four police officers and only one of them opened fire, why didn’t the others feel threatened?”
10 On Your Side called Norfolk Police and was told the investigation is ongoing and there won’t be any comment on the incident until it is complete.
“Hopefully we will all have answers to what happened and how to avoid this kind of tragedy,” Cooper said.
The family is now waiting for the police department to finish its internal investigation. The case will then be turned over the Commonwealth’s Attorney to see if any criminal charges should be filed.