Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney asks other prosecutors to review fatal officer-involved shooting

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said Monday that she has asked two other commonwealth’s attorneys to investigate an officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of a woman last week.

On Sept. 17, two Henrico police officers responded to the 2900 block of Huntwick Court, off Pump Road, around 10:30 a.m. for a welfare check. While checking the home, the officers were confronted by a woman “wielding and swinging an ax,” and were forced to deadly force, according to Henrico police.

The shooting victim, 57-year-old Gay Ellen Plack, was a registered nurse who surrendered her license back in 2011 after being hospitalized for mental health issues, according to documents obtained by 8News.

Henrico’s top prosecutor said she has asked City of Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell and Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen to look over the case and provide their judgment. Taylor said both Bell and Olsen have agreed to do so.

Taylor also assured that the body worn camera footage, which 8News was allowed to review but not record, from the incident will be made available to the public.

You can read Taylor’s full statement below:

This past week, an officer-related shooting in response to a welfare check occurred in Henrico County. A local psychiatrist, concerned about a patient’s non-response, called 9-11 and the police went to check on the patient.

For further transparency on exactly what happened, I will work to ensure the body worn camera video is available to the public, with Ms. Gay Plack’s family’s concurrence.

To ensure a complete, thorough and objective investigation, I will continue to review the case, but am also calling on two other Commonwealth’s Attorneys to independently review it. I do not want any doubt in anyone’s mind that this unfortunate tragic incident receives anything but a thorough, objective, and independent review.

I have asked City of Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell and Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen to also review all the information in the case and make an objective independent judgment and they both agreed to do so. More eyes on the facts can only reassure everyone.

I will release their findings as well as my own.

This tragedy, and it is a tragedy, is yet another unfortunate reminder that we need additional resources to help those suffering with mental illness.

In addition to needing more resources, more mental health training, and more options for care, I would like to see us revisit the community care/welfare check policies and procedures. After a tragedy such as this, it only makes good sense to ensure we review our program and see if there are improvements to be made.

Let me conclude by offering my heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Ms. Plack and offer the assurance that I will investigate this incident thoroughly, fairly, and expeditiously.

Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor

This story is developing. Stay with 8News for updates.

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