Bodycam video shows burglary suspect shot by Portsmouth officer


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Body cam video obtained by 10 On Your Side shows the moments a convicted felon and armed burglary suspect was shot by a Portsmouth police officer.

The video is from October 2017 on Tatem Avenue in Portsmouth.

Officers responded to a burglary in process around noon on Oct. 29 — where they saw suspects exiting a home. Police said at the time one of the suspects was armed, and was shot by an officer.

The video shows officers respond to a home and surround it. One of the officers gives chase after one of the suspects sprints out of the house.

The officer can be heard yelling, “He has a gun! He has a gun!” before firing multiple shots.

***NOTE: Body cam video of the incident contains images that may be disturbing for some. App users can watch the full video here***

The suspect, Deontrace Ward, is in jail on a slew of charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, armed statutory burglary and grand larceny. Court documents obtained by 10 On Your Side show the suspect had a gun. 

Virginia State Police took over the investigation into the incident, and turned over its findings to the Office of Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales.

She sent a statement saying: “The Virginia State Police conducted an investigation into this matter and provided its investigative results to our office. Our office is now working to investigate further and to obtain every relevant fact in this matter. Upon completion of our investigation we will apply the law to the facts and determine whether use of force was justified or not pursuant to the law. We will provide an update when a determination is made.”

Morales’ office is still conducting an investigation into the shooting.

Nicholas Renninger is the Portsmouth officer’s attorney. “My understanding is that State Police have concluded their investigation months ago. It’s been sitting on the Commonwealth’s Attorney for months with no indication about the direction she’s intending to go in. What it has done is forced Officer Durocher to live his life in limbo.”

Renninger went on to say the shooting was justified. 

“[The suspect] had a gun with him, which showed Ward’s intent was if confronted he was going to use this weapon and that’s something police officers are trained in, an armed burglary is much more dangerous than an unarmed burglary and Officer Durocher was presented with that immediate threat when he saw him with the weapon.”

Look for full coverage from Laura Caso on WAVY News 10, beginning at 4 p.m.

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