Burglary suspect shot by Portsmouth police, VSP investigating

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — An armed burglary suspect was shot in the arm by a Portsmouth police officer Sunday afternoon, according to a city official.

The incident occurred in the 1100 block of Tatem Avenue in Portsmouth, according to police.

Officers were called to a home on Tatem Avenue, near Cherokee Road, at 12:03 p.m.

“I heard what sounded like a couple of firecrackers go off,” neighbor Lee Terrell said. “Then I heard two more, they were spaced differently, so I knew they were gunshots.”

Police say they saw individuals exiting the residence when they arrived on the scene. One of the individuals was armed, which resulted in an officer involved shooting incident, according to Portsmouth Police.

A Portsmouth city official told 10 On Your Side at least one bullet struck the suspect in the arm. Police would not confirm these details.

The suspect has non life-threatening injuries, according to Officer Ricky Wright.

An eyewitness near the scene claimed he saw one suspect in a kicked-in doorway and another suspect in the driveway, both wearing hoodies. According to the eyewitness, one of the suspects ran away when police arrived to the scene and the other suspect attempted to jump a wooden fence near the home.

“They came through my neighbor’s yard here, and then he jumped over our fence here,” said another neighbor, “He was arrested on the ground back over here, and he was shot and there was blood on the ground.”

She had just put down her children for a nap when she heard the sound of gunshots. She quickly took the children to hide in a bathroom.

“We heard the first two gunshots, and at that point we knew it was really close because it sounded like it was right over here,” she said pointing to the neighbor’s home that was burglarized, “The second two gunshots were in our backyard.”

Another neighbor remembers hearing a police officer yelling to the suspect “put the gun down, put the gun down,” followed by two gunshots.

Police are not saying how many shots were fired by officers, and whether any shots were fired by the suspects.

At the request of the Portsmouth Police Chief, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Chesapeake Field Office is investigating the incident. The Portsmouth Police Department is investigating the burglary.

Virginia State Police investigators were on the scene Monday with a k-9 unit, and searching the backyard with metal detectors trying to account for bullet fragments or casings.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, according to Portsmouth Police.