Medical examiner: Manner of death of man shot by police was homicide

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) –

A naked man who was seen rolling around on I-95 Monday has died after being shot by police.

It happened around 6 p.m. on Interstate 95 North in Richmond near Chamberlayne Avenue, shutting down traffic for a few hours, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Police shot the man after a witness said he was rolling around on I-95 North.

The Richmond Police Department has not identified the man, however they said he was involved in a hit-and-run shortly before this incident.

“We’re just trying to figure out why this person did the hit-and-run, why he didn’t have any clothes on,” said Gene Lepley with RPD.

Lepley said the man attacked an officer and forced him to use deadly force.

“Our officer attempted to use a taser on the person and it failed,” Lepley said. “The attack continued and the officer drew his service weapon and discharged it striking that man.”

A witness said the man was, “naked and rolling around on the interstate for some time before he stood to walk towards the cops.” The witness added that “tasers were drawn and he was told to get down multiple times.”

A woman who was walking home noticed the chaotic scene and said this incident is hard to believe.

“We’ve seen little accidents from time to time, protests,” said Vail Shepherd. “Normal things to Richmond city, but this is a little bit out of the ordinary I’d say.”

Another witness said he and his friend heard two shots as soon as police and the naked man disappeared from sight. As the two drove by, the witness saw the suspect face down in the bushes of the off ramp.

NBC12 legal analyst, Steve Benjamin, said it’s appropriate for an officer to use deadly force when, “…it’s reasonably appears necessary to avoid death or serious injury. The use of a firearm is deadly force.”

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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