Virginia Beach officers cleared in three recent shooting incidents

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Virginia Beach, Va. - On Wednesday, the Commonwealth's Attorney of Virginia Beach released several letters clearing officers who were involved in recent shootings in the city.

The Commonwealth's Attorney found that all of the officers acted properly under the circumstances and there will be no criminal charges against any of them. Officers Bradley Colas, Mark Bennett, Ewell Pittman, Daniel Ertmann, Sean Garvin, Daniel Herring, Eli Kendrick, and Jeremy Molnar are all eligible to return to regular duty.

The first incident happened on May 1 on King Henry Court. Police say Christopher Cody Smith strangled his wife and shot his best friend. While on the scene helping the two victims, police say Smith shot at them and ran inside of an apartment.  Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera says this went on for about 20 minutes.  Smith jumped out of a window and ran into the woods. He was eventually apprehended. He was found with two weapons and a third was inside of his pants.

The second occurred on May 8th on 5522 Baccalaureate Drive after police say James Wallace White shot his wife to death and wounded one of her sons.  Police say White shot at them and that's when they exchanged gunfire and White was hit. He suffered a non-life threatening injury.

The most recent incident happened on May 15th on Newtown Road and Baker Road where two suspected armed robbers walked into a Boost Mobile location and held a customer hostage.  One of the men accused in the incident, Louis Vasquez, was shot after police say he exchanged fire with officers. He has been charged with robbery, abduction and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

A full report will not be released until criminal proceedings are completed.

The Virginia Beach Police Union released the following statement:

"The association was always confident that our officers did what was right.  We are grateful to the commonwealths attorney for not allowing politics to enter into the decision and for standing up for our officers and ultimately law enforcement everywhere. We also thank Chief Cervera for working closely with the Virginia Beach Police Association while resolving this matter."

Related: 

No bond granted for man accused of shooting at Virginia Beach police officers

Virginia Beach mom murdered on Mother’s Day weekend, husband in jail after shootout with police

Police shoot suspect after robbery, hostage situation in Boost Mobile; another suspect on the loose

13 comments

    • Hey

      You are either so poorly misinformed about the laws or idiot or both. In each situation the cops operated within the law and reacted accordingly. What would your solution have been after they were engaged? Just try and talk it out? Feel free to move to another country more in line with your simpleton mind and see how that works out for you.

    • Um....

      As long as criminals can’t, I’ve no problem with that. Of course, that could be because I am not a criminal….

  • grow up

    Police shouldn’t get into trouble for protecting others and themselves as well from dangerous ignorant people that continue to go a round shooting, killing and robbing innocent poeple. If they are doing their job right why should they be punished for it? IF people weren’t doing things wrong and constantly putting others lives in danger and breaking the law they wouldn’t have to worry about police in the first place….

  • Ray First, Ed second

    These cops need to head back to the practice range. Glad the cops were exonerated, but the outcomes could have been much better had there been a few funerals for the suspects.

  • ibshrn

    Virginia Beach has a long history of police brutality. Back in the 80’s it was a well known fact. I still do not believe it took three officers to subdue a man down on the ground. This third officer comes from nowhere and starts kneeing the man in the head. What if he died? I guess that would be ok. Also, there is one officer that is linked with all the cases with excessive force; seems to me if he should not be investigated or retrained.

    • BigBoy

      You are an idiot. Have you ever tried to hold down an angry 8 year old throwing a tantrum? Unless they hurt a suspect…it can take several officers to subdue an out of control suspect, especially on drugs. Quit watching CSI Miami & get real, Nancy!

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