Portsmouth, Va. – The mother of an 18-year-old shot and killed in a Portsmouth Walmart parking lot made an emotional statement to the public on Thursday afternoon just days after learning about her son’s death.
“That’s my son, I have to speak for him. I have to be his voice. He didn’t deserve this,” says Candy Chapman.
Virginia State Police say Portsmouth Police were alerted by Walmart security about a suspected shoplifter. William L. Chapman II was spotted crossing the parking lot on foot and was approached by a Portsmouth Police officer.
During the encounter, a struggle ensued that resulted in Chapman being shot by the police officer. The officer immediately requested medics. Chapman died at the scene.
Candy says she has not been told the full story about what exactly to her son. She wants to know what happened during the last moments of her son’s life, but she says detectives have not given her much information.
“I called 911 myself after I found out it was a boy that was 18. I have not seen my son for hours. I told them my son’s name, detectives came and told me yes it was your son, and that was about seven something in the morning.”
During the conference, she smiled and recalled happy memories of her son about how he loved the library and books. She described him as a compassionate person who was soft spoken and stayed out of trouble. She says she can’t believe he’d charge at an officer the way that eye witnesses describe.
A construction worker nearby says he saw Chapman charge at the officer before he was shot.
“If he was struggling with the officer, it’s because he was afraid. That’s the only reason. Not because he wanted to harm the officer or get some type of attention.”
She says after she talked to dispatchers, she knew it was her son who had been killed.
“When I called 911, they asked my son’s name. I said William Chapman. She put me on hold, then she said I’m going to get a detective to talk to you. She said 'Do you also want to do a missing person’s report', so I said yeah. She said, “What’s your son’s name again?’ So I said, 'William Chapman, II.' She said, 'William Chapman, II'? Right then when she said that, I already knew.”
She says she has four other children and William was her oldest son.
“I have to bury my son. I still have to take care of the rest of my kids.”
When asked about the investigation, she says she hopes it is done fairly but all she wants is the truth.
“It’s time for a change. This has to stop.”