Deadly officer-involved shooting under investigation in Hampton

LAVOY HARRELL/WAVY

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — One person was killed and two others were injured in an overnight officer-involved shooting, police say.

The incident happened just before midnight, and involved officers from more than one locality.

“It was just like pow pow pow pow,” said Hampton resident Rick Soto.  “It was like 10 shots or something like that.”

That was the sound Soto woke up to this morning.  He looked out his window to see what was happening.

“I just saw some man fall down next to the dumpsters in the parking lot and I saw the police right there,” Soto added.  “I said ‘I’m getting down’ so I put my head down.”

What Soto didn’t know was this was the end to what started a couple of miles away in Newport News.

“A Newport News officer and a Williamsburg officer were in Newport News in the area of 21st Street and Orcutt Avenue,” Hampton Police Corporal Ashley Jenrette said.

Police say the officers, who were working on a task force, spotted a black pickup truck. When they ran the plate it came back stolen out of Chesapeake.

According to Chesapeake police, the 2013 Ford Raptor was stolen early Monday morning from the 1300 block of Monarch Reach, just off Dominion Boulevard.

The two officers followed the truck into Hampton and into a 7-Eleven parking lot at the corner of Kecoughtan Road and Cherry Avenue.

Photos: Officer-involved shooting scene

Officers got out to talk to the five people in the truck.  Police tell us at that point someone pointed a gun at the officers and the driver hit the gas.

“They drove towards the officers and the unmarked vehicle at which time officers fired shots towards that vehicle sticking three of the occupants,” Jenrette added.

One of the three people shot, 24-year-old DeAndre Bethea, died at the hospital.  Two others are recovering from their wounds; police say one of the two has life threatening injuries.

DeAndre Bethea (Photo courtesy: Family member)

Thomas Bethea, Deandre’s uncle, spoke to 10 On Your Side Wednesday, saying he had gotten the call that morning that his nephew had died.

“He was a cool dude, he loved sports, loved the girls, he loved to have fun. Deandre was a good guy, real loving person, people loved Deandre. His kids loved him, his momma love him, his family loved and I love him. It’s a hard pill to swallow,” said Thomas. “It’s hard to understand because of the way it went down. There’s no understanding in it.”

Several witnesses, who did not want to appear on camera, told 10 On Your Side they heard three to four gunshots in the area. 7-Eleven employees say security cameras were working and could have captured evidence from the scene.

“You never know when the bullet is going to bounce around and hit your car or hit your apartment,” Soto said.  “I didn’t know who was shooting at who.”

Police tell us the other two men in the truck ran, but were picked up a short time later.

Detectives recovered five guns from the scene, and the officers involved have been placed on administrative duty.

Williamsburg police say its officer has been with the department for 16 years. He is currently assigned to Criminal Investigations.

He was in Newport News looking into a series of car break ins and stolen cars in Williamsburg — which police said happened between the late evening hours of Oct. 16 and the early morning hours of Oct. 17. He has not been involved in any prior shootings.

Newport News police say its officer was assigned to the Violent Crimes Reduction Task Force, and is a 12-year veteran of the department. He was investigating stolen cars in the Southeast section of the city. The officer has been involved in two other officer-involved shootings, both of which involved vicious dogs.

Hampton police are conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, while Newport News and Williamsburg police are handling administrative investigations.

“We are in a situation where we are investigating an incident where we had two officers from other jurisdictions involved and also you’re bringing in another jurisdiction for the stolen vehicle piece being that vehicle was stolen out of Chesapeake,” Jenrette said.