Two police investigators are on administrative duty after they shot and killed 25-year-old India Beaty.
Corporal Melinda Wray with the Norfolk Police Department said the officers opened fire on the woman, later identified as India M. Beaty of Norfolk, after she pointed a gun at them. Police later found that the gun was fake.
The incident happened shortly before 1:20 a.m. in the 9500 block of Shore Drive. Members of the Norfolk Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division were conducting a surveillance operation nearby when they observed a man and a woman arguing.
Police said a woman who was involved in the fight produced a handgun and threatened the man, who was unarmed. The officers got out of their vehicles and “provided verbal commands.”
They said Beaty refused to comply with their orders and made a threatening motion with the handgun. The officers then fired their weapons, striking Beaty.
Wray said the officers immediately began to provide first-aid and.
Medics were called, but Beaty died there.
The first officer involved in the shooting has been with the Norfolk Police Department 8 years and has been assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau, Vice and Narcotics Division for 1 year.
The second officer has been with the Norfolk Police Department 6 years and has been assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau, Vice and Narcotics Division for 4 years.
Police said the officers’ names will not be released during the course of the investigation.
They also said the weapon that Beaty had was a non-firing replica firearm.
Wray said Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith and his command staff immediately responded to the scene of the shooting.
Goldsmith said in a statement: “Any loss of life is tragic. This morning’s events affect not only my officers and Ms. Beaty’s family members, but our entire community. My thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Beaty’s loved ones, and we appreciate the public’s patience as we continue this investigation.”
Wray said the officers were in plain clothes, and not uniforms, but they were wearing bullet-proof vests clearly labeled “POLICE.”
The officers involved were not wearing body cameras.
In an interview with the Virginian-Pilot, India’s family questioned the police department’s account of the shooting.
Her father told the newspaper he wanted “justice,” while her sister said the facts just didn’t make sense.
“She’s very smart, very intelligent. I don’t believe she was brandishing a weapon,” she said. “Her automatic reaction would have been to drop and say, ‘It’s not real.’ She would not have gone to jail over a toy gun.”?