Roanoke Police shoot man accused of threatening officer with knife

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 8:41 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A man has been hospitalized after an officer-involved shooting at the Leehy Manor apartments in Roanoke Wednesday morning, according to the Roanoke City Police Department.

About 7:19 a.m. January 25, 2023, police were called about a disorder in the 3700 block of Stratford Park Drive SW. An officer found a man on a sidewalk in the area; the man appeared to be agitated, according to police, and got more aggressive, threatening to “kill” the officer, ignoring the officer’s attempts to de-escalate the situation. The man pulled a knife and began moving toward the officer, who continued to try to de-escalate the situation while backing away from the man, according to police.

“During that attempt to de-escalate, our officer was confronted with an individual with a knife. He again tried to de-escalate the situation. But unfortunately, our officer had to use his firearm to stop the oncoming threat,” said Chief Sam Roman.

As the man continued moving toward the officer, police say, the officer fired one shot, hitting the man. The man was taken to a hospital for what police say is a non-life-threatening wound. No Roanoke Police officers were injured.

A nearby neighbor said the man involved does not live in the apartments.

“And it was a visitor of the girl downstairs,” said Mary Finch.

Finch says crime near these apartments is nothing new.

“Every day Roanoke city cops are here. I made a joke to them. I said I think ya’ll need to get an apartment up here since you’re here every day,” explained Finch. “I mean they were just here three times yesterday alone. Three times.”

She says kids don’t feel safe in the area.

“You would think they would add security after that. But no,” added Finch.

Virginia State Police are investigating the incident, per RPD protocol, and the officer will be placed on administrative leave.

Roanoke City School buses were unable to pick up kids for school Wednesday morning due to the incident.