Police: Killed suspect’s sawed-off shotgun stolen in 2013

A photograph of the shotgun that was brandished at Newport News officers before a fatal police shooting July 4, 2015, according to Newport News police (Photo courtesy Newport News Police Department).

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A man died at the scene of an officer-involved shooting early Saturday morning on 18th Street and Peterson Place in Newport News, according to police.

Police identified the man as 23-year-old Kawanza Jamal Beaty, of Newport News.

“I woke up this morning to my son being gone,” Beaty’s mom Melisa Dargan said. “What can anybody do for me right now? You can’t bring my son back. There’s nothing anyone can do to help me right now.”

It’s something Dargan won’t expect anyone to understand. Her oldest son shot by police when they say he pointed a sawed-off shotgun at three officers around 2 a.m. Saturday.

On Monday, police said they had learned the shotgun was reported stolen in Hampton in 2013, but had no way of knowing if Beaty was the suspect in the burglary.

Saturday morning, an off-duty Newport News detective who worked overnight security at the Stuart Gardens Apartments, received a tip from a source that said Beaty was carrying the shotgun. The officer called in backup. A K-9 officer and a South Precinct sergeant joined him. The three approached Beaty to question him. That’s when police said he ran.

Police caught up with Beaty and one officer noted Beaty had a rigid motion to his run that looked like he was hiding something in his coat. Officers said he revealed the shotgun and pointed it at them.

“At least one or possibly two officers shouted, ‘Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!'” Newport News Chief of Police Richard Myers said.

One officer fired three shots at Beaty. He was hit and died at the scene.

Beaty’s mother said she can’t believe her son carried the shotgun.

“He had a baby on the way,” Dargan said. “He’d been in that lifestyle. He just found out his baby’s mama was pregnant. He was turning his life around. He was getting his life together.”

No officers were hurt during the shooting, said Newport News police spokesman Lou Thurston.

The shotgun was recovered at the scene. Sgt. Jason Price, with the Hampton Police Division, said the gun was taken during a burglary in the 200 block of Prince George Drive on September 27, 2013. He said the suspect broke into the residence through a backdoor and stole electronics, jewelry and the gun.

Hampton detectives were never able to track down a suspect for that burglary, but the gun was reported stolen. When it was taken from the scene Saturday morning, the gun showed up in their database.

There will be two separate investigations: a criminal investigation by the Newport News Police Department’s Homicide Unit and an internal investigation by the department’s internal affairs staff, Thurston said.

Three officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigations.

Stay with WAVY News and WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.


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