Lynchburg officer will not face criminal charges in fatal shooting of an armed suspect after chase

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Lynchburg's Commonwealth Attorney has determined the officer involved in a shooting back on Feb. 2 will not face criminal charges.

According to CA Bethany Harrison, after a thorough review, Officer J. Person’s actions amounted to "a justifiable use of deadly force and no criminal charges will be issued."

The report released by Harrison discussed the events that took place on Feb. 2, 2023:

Just before 9:23 p.m., officers were called to the 700 block of Grady Street for multiple reports of shots fired.

LPD said an officer tried to stop a vehicle on 12th Street that they believed to be involved, but the driver took off to get away from police.

The driver then got out of the vehicle and ran into the area of Pierce and 14th Street. After a short foot chase, LPD said the officer encountered the suspect in an alleyway in the 1400 block of 17th Street.

Police said the suspect, 25-year-old Ry'Heam Damon Brown, pulled out a firearm and the officer then shot Brown, who later died.

According to Harrison's report, she reviewed reports provided by the Virginia State Police (VSP) who investigated the matter, body worn camera (BWC) footage of the event, a report and statement prepared by LPD Officer Person, photographs of the scene, consultation notes with the medical examiner, Lynchburg Fire Department records, and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) records.

Additionally, she reviewed Person’s training records from the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy to come to her conclusion.

On Tuesday, the assigned VSP Agent, the CA office’s Victim-Witness Director, and Harrison met with Brown’s to explain the findings. Harrison also played Officer Person’s BWC footage.

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