43ºF

Roanoke Co. officers who shot and killed Kionte Spencer will not face criminal charges

photo
(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - During a news conference on Wednesday, police announced that the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Kionte Spencer will not face any charges.

"The police were justified," said Roanoke County Commonwealth Attorney Randy Leach.

"It's a tragedy, but it's a tragedy [Kionte] brought on himself," sad Leach later on in the news conference.

None of the officers involved in the February 26 shooting had prior interaction with Spencer. The police department will not release the names of the officers involved in the incident to the public. All the officers involved in the incident are back to work.

The video of this incident will not be released either, according to Chief Howard Hall. However, some members of the media did have the opportunity to view the video before Wednesday's news conference. Hall said the purpose of showing the video to a few members of the media is to have them independently know that the pictures released provide an accurate depiction of what happened.

Hall said that Kionte Spencer's action led to a use of police deadly force. He also said he's not anticipating any changes regarding the department's deadly force policy in response to this investigation.

Hall said that until the body camera technology reaches his level of satisfaction, he does not want to ask the board of supervisors for funding for them.

During the news conference, Hall also provided information regarding Spencer's background. At the age of 2, Kionte Spencer was removed from his biological parents based on abuse. From 2010-2015, he was in a variety of mental health treatment programs. In 2012, Spencer arrived in Roanoke.

In December 2015, it was noted in his file that Spencer was not taking his medications on a consistent basis and stopped taking them completely.

Hall also said it's reasonable to conclude that Spencer suffered from mental illness.

Map of the events of February 24, provided by Roanoke County Police Department
Map of the events of February 24, provided by Roanoke County Police Department

Hear the 911 call made on February 26: [audio mp3="https://mgtvwsls.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/911-caller-describing-man-with-gun_1.mp3"][/audio]

Watch the news conference:

Kionte Spencer news conference. WSLS 10's Brie Jackson and John Carlin WSLS will have team coverage of this story.

Posted by WSLS 10 / WSLS.com on Wednesday, May 25, 2016