Use of deadly force determined justified in Roanoke officer-involved shooting

ROANOKE, Va.UPDATE - Dec. 8

Roanoke City Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell has concluded that the use of deadly force in Sunday’s officer-involved shooting was justified.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney said the decision was made based on body camera footage worn by Officers Camper and Gilliam.

“Based upon my review of these videos, I am of the opinion that Officers Gilliam and Sloan were justified in the use of deadly force under Virginia Law to defend the life of Officer Camper, their own lives and the lives and safety of other people in the immediate area,” said Caldwell.

You can view the full press release below.


UPDATE - Dec. 6

Roanoke Police have identified the victim of a homicide connected to an officer-involved shooting that left one man dead and an officer hospitalized.

According to Roanoke Police Chief Scott Booth, the victim of the stabbing was Douglas Wayne McFalls, 69, of Roanoke, and was the father of the homicide suspect, David McFall.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Booth revealed that the officer who was shot, Officer Lauren Camper, has served for three years in the department.

[WATCH | Roanoke Police hold press conference on officer-involved shooting, homicide investigation]

According to Roanoke Police Chief Scott Booth, Officer Lauren Camper is recovering at home.

Alongside Camper were officers D. Gilliam, with just over a year of service in the patrol division and R. Sloan, who has 15 years of service and is in the special investigations unit.

All three officers are on administrative leave while Virginia State Police conduct their investigation.


UPDATE - Dec. 5

Virginia State Police has identified the Roanoke homicide suspect who was shot and killed by officers on Dec. 3.

As we reported previously, Roanoke Police responded to a homicide in the 1600 block of Lawrence Avenue SE on Dec. 3. A man with multiple stab wounds was found at the scene and later pronounced dead.

In the early stages of that investigation, officers said they believed the suspect, now identified as 39-year-old David McFall of Roanoke, and the victim knew each other.

Later that day around 4 p.m., three officers approached McFall who was walking along Melrose Avenue when he pulled out a gun and started firing, according to police.

He was then shot by an officer and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

An officer was also shot and was sent to the hospital. As of Monday afternoon (Dec. 4), the officer was recovering and was in stable condition, according to RPD. The name of the officer has not yet been released.

Virginia State Police is investigating at the request of Chief Scott Booth.

Once the investigation is complete, VSP said they will turn findings and evidence over to the City of Roanoke Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for review.

According to court records, McFall had a criminal history that dates back to 2016 and includes charges for assault and battery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, robbery, grand larceny, and prison escape.

In 2018, McFall was arrested in connection with an armed robbery, and in 2019, while in custody on work detail, he walked off site and was fought just inside the city limits, as we previously reported.

We’ll continue to update this breaking news story as more information becomes available.


UPDATE - Dec. 4

An officer is now in stable condition after a shooting involving a homicide suspect on Melrose Avenue over the weekend, according to Roanoke Police.

We are pleased to share that the officer injured in yesterday’s shooting is recovering and in stable condition. All of our staff are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from our community and public safety partners during this difficult time,” RCPD said in a statement.

[WATCH: Roanoke Police hold press conference on officer-involved shooting]

Roanoke Police will continue to investigate the homicide connected to the officer-involved shooting and said they are not currently seeking any additional suspects in the homicide case.

Virginia State Police is continuing to investigate the officer-involved shooting.

City Manager Bob Cowell gave 10 News the following statement:

“When something like this occurs, which thankfully is rare, my thoughts are with the Officer and her family. It is also important to acknowledge the work of the other Officers involved along with the Fire-EMS personnel and Sheriff’s Deputies –- all who conducted themselves with great professionalism and did what was necessary to keep our community safe and render aid to the Officer. I am thankful that the Officer is stable and improving, and I know that she will be surrounded by her family, fellow officers, and the City as she continues her recovery in the days and weeks ahead.”

City Manager Bob Cowell

We’ll continue to update this breaking news story as more information becomes available.


UPDATE

A homicide suspect is dead, and an officer is seriously injured after a shooting on Melrose Avenue in Roanoke, according to Roanoke Police.

At 11:30 a.m., we’re told Roanoke City Police responded to a homicide in the 1600 block of Lawrence Avenue SE. That’s where Roanoke City Police say they found a man who had been stabbed multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers believe that the man stabbed to death and the suspect knew each other but did not provide further details as to what may have led to the incident.

“It’s unknown when exactly the homicide occurred, but it’s believed to be as early as mid-week this [past] week,” said Roanoke City Police Chief Scott Booth.

We’re told that later that day at about 4 p.m., three officers approached the man identified as a suspect in the homicide, walking along Melrose Avenue. The man then pulled out a gun and started firing, according to police.

“Shots were exchanged between several Roanoke police officers and the suspect,” said Booth.

[WATCH: Roanoke Police hold press conference on officer-involved shooting]

Police said an officer was struck by gunfire and is being treated at LewisGale Hospital. According to RPD, the suspect was also shot and pronounced dead at the scene.

We’re told the officer is talking and alert. As of 8 p.m. Sunday, authorities said she is out of surgery but is still in critical condition.

The names of the officer and suspect have not been released. We’re told the suspect was a 39-year-old man.

“This is a very sad and traumatic day for our community and members of our department, but as a new chief, I have been here for about 35ish days now, to realize that I can lead a department that can take fire like that and still act heroically. I witnessed officers rendering lifesaving techniques to our officers and potentially saving a life there.”

Booth said officers came in on their day off to help with the shift and their department during a traumatic time.

“I’m so proud to be the chief here and to see a department that’s rallying around, not just an officer that was shot in the line of duty, but the entire department and for what they’re going through.”

Booth told 10 News that the officers were wearing body cameras.

“I have personally viewed that video, and it shows that our officers acted heroically when they approached that suspect, and he fired upon our officers.”

Virginia State Police is handling the investigation.

We’ll continue to update this breaking news story as more information becomes available.


ORIGINAL STORY

There is a large police presence at Melrose Towers in Northwest Roanoke.

This is a developing story. Stay with 10 News on air and online as we continue to learn more.


About the Authors:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.

Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.