‘Fractions of a second’: Former police captain details mentality during threat

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police responded to reports of a naked man, identified as 24-year-old Marcus-David L. Peters, of Henrico, ‘running around crazy’ on I-95 in downtown Richmond on May 14. 

8News spoke with a former Chesterfield Police Captain about the shooting and what goes through an officers’ mind in times of danger. 

Monday night’s officer-involved shooting started at the intersection of West Franklin and North Belvidere Streets. 

A Richmond Police officer saw Marcus D. Peters hit another car and take off. 

The officer followed Peters on the I-95 ramp, where Peters lost control and hit two other cars. 

Peters exited the vehicle naked and ran onto I-95. 

Police said Peters charged the officer, who attempted to tase Peters. The taser was ineffective when used upon Peters. 

“There are a very few individuals that do not experience the same type of effects from a taser type of an instrument,” said Steve Neal, retired Chesterfield County Police Captain. 

After tasing Peters failed, the officer shot him. 

“Police officers have no way of knowing exactly who they are dealing with. When they come upon a situation this is a stranger to them and they have to assess and make their decision based on what they see,” said Neal. 

Neal told 8News that officers must make an immediate decision when faced with a threat. 

“Fractions of a second. The circumstances involving are very rapid and the police officer has to make a decision as to what level of force is necessary in order to protect life and property. That means either to protect themselves or also to protect other people, innocent citizens who might be in the area,” said Neal. 

Peters, who was unarmed at the time of the shooting, graduated with honors in 2016 from VCU with a degree in Biology. 

The officer who shot Peters has been put on administrative leave during the ongoing investigation.

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