Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting in Portsmouth

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UPDATE (Oct. 24, 2018): Charges against Erica Brown were nolle prossed (or withdrawn).


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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia State Police is leading an investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting in Portsmouth.

According to Portsmouth Police, officers were called to the 140 block of Navajo Trail, off Portsmouth Boulevard, around 11:11 p.m. Sunday for reports of a home invasion.

When officers arrived they confronted two armed suspects, a man and a woman. The officers ordered the suspects to surrender and when they did not comply the officers shot one of them.

Paramedics took the suspect who was shot to a local hospital where he died. Monday, police identified the male suspect as 29-year-old Willie Marable. The second suspect, 32-year-old Erica Brown, was taken into police custody and charged with attempted burglary and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. 

Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman requested that the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) Chesapeake Field Office investigate the incident.

No officers were injured. The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, per standard procedure, while an administrative investigation is conducted by the Portsmouth Police Department Professional Standards Bureau.

10 On Your Side spoke to family members of Marable. His family claims Willie was jumped earlier in the day by two men living at the apartment and that he and his girlfriend went to confront the people who jumped him.

Marable’s mother has a lot of questions about what unfolded next. “I want to know why police killed my son. Why they are killing our black youth out here. And they are talking about a gun; my son never owned, never had a gun, so I want to know what’s going on,” said Lori Flythe.

Portsmouth police confirmed the officer who shot the suspect was wearing a body camera. We are still working to find out if the camera was activated before the shooting.

Police were on the scene for about six hours. Neighbors in the area say they could not get into their apartment late last night.

“I don’t know what happened that led to the circumstances but I’m just saying it’s sad,” said one woman that lives in the area. “It’s just sad that someones’s life is gone and I don’t know what happened. It’s sad that someone’s life is gone.”

Another woman said the shooting happened right outside of her apartment. 

“We were laying on the couch watching TV, then we heard two gunshots. We could see the flashing lights through the window.I  jumped up and ran to the back to get my kids. Two of them were asleep. One of them was walking to the bathroom and asked what’s going on. I said get on the floor don’t worry about it,” said Candra King.

State Police will turn over their findings to the Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney for Review.

Count on WAVY News 10 to bring you updates throughout the day as we get them.

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