Roanoke County police identify man killed following officer involved shooting

Courtesy: Roanoke County Police Department (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Roanoke County police identify the victim of Friday night's officer involved shooting.

Police say, this picture shows Kionte Spencer walking with a BB pistol air gun.

Police say 18-year-old Kionte Deshaun Spencer died after being shot in the hip and collarbone.

Police received a call Friday around 7:15 p.m. about a man pointing a gun at cars near the intersection on Brambleton Avenue and Electric Road. When officers arrived, police say, they saw Spencer carrying what looked like a handgun. Officers later determined it was a BB pistol air gun.

According to Roanoke County police, Spencer ignored repeated demands to drop the weapon. Officers used their tasers, but they were ineffective. After they shot Spencer twice.

"I don't know at this point if this was a situation that could have been quote 'de-escalted'," said Howard Hall, Roanoke County Police Chief. "This was a deadly force encounter, despite the fact that we now know that this handgun was an air gun."

At least six officers were involved. They are on administrative leave.

The police department is conducting an internal investigation to make sure protocol was followed.

During a news conference on Monday, Roanoke County police used pictures of a Crosman powered BB pistol and a Heckler & Koch 930 9MM handgun to show the similarities between an air gun and a handgun.

Roanoke County police used the above images to show the similarities between a BB pistol and a handgun.
Roanoke County police used the above images to show the similarities between a BB pistol and a handgun.

After the news conference we spoke with Spencer's brother Carl. He said they were close and talked about four times a week. They even spoke the day of the shooting.

"That's what makes it so crazy," commented Spencer Carl. "I came here, because this is not sitting right with me. I'll never be able to get over him until I find out what happened."

Carl said his brother lived in an independent living program along Garst Mill Road -- near where the shooting took place. Prior to that, his brother said Spencer grew up in foster care and was later moved to the group home.

According to Roanoke County Public Schools, Spencer was a junior at Hidden Valley High School. He transferred from Northside High School in November 2015. The school system said additional counselors will be available for students at Hidden Valley and Northside High schools this week.

The school system could not say much more information, but mentioned Spencer was not in class last week.