RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One week after a reported officer-involved shooting in Manchester sent two individuals to the hospital, the investigation into what led to the incident and who fired first continues.
According to the Richmond Police Department (RPD), the shooting happened last Monday, July 25, around 3:30 a.m. after authorities said they witnessed speeding and reckless driving. Police said the driver crashed the car, and then ran from the vehicle at the intersection of Commerce Road and Stockton Street.
RPD Chief Gerald Smith said that when an officer attempted to engage the driver in a nearby alleyway, the officer and driver ended up shooting at each other. Both were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds.
“We have not spoken to the officer yet, for the officer is under medical treatment at this time,” Chief Smith told 8News last week. “But we will speak to the officer. So anything that I say now would be complete speculation. But, in typical situations like that, officers react to an active threat.”
Smith previously stated that the suspect was in life-threatening condition in the ICU, while the officer was also hospitalized, but in non-life-threatening conditions. He noted that the suspect had been shot in his upper torso, and the officer suffered a gunshot wound in his hip area.
8News reached out to RPD Monday for an update on the conditions of both the suspect and the officer. A spokesperson said the department could not comment on the officer’s condition, but that Major Crimes reported the suspect was still in the hospital.
RPD had named Dakari Reinhardt as the sole suspect in the officer-involved shooting. The 20-year-old has several previous charges, unrelated to last week’s shooting, out of the City of Richmond and Henrico County.
On Monday, Reinhardt was due to appear in court for arraignment on a previous failure to appear charge. 8News reached out to the Richmond City Circuit Court clerk’s office, which confirmed that Reinhardt did not show up for court. The clerk also noted that it was not anticipated that Reinhardt would appear in court because it was the office’s understanding that he was still hospitalized.
However, Richmond Jail records indicate that Reinhardt has been in custody since Friday morning, after being released from the hospital. 8News spoke with a sheriff’s deputy at the jail on Monday who stated that Reinhardt was behind bars at the jail, contrary to what RPD reported. However, the deputy did not elaborate on Reinhardt’s medical condition. The sheriff’s office is responsible for such transfers.
“In order for a clerk to get somebody from the jail to the courthouse, a transportation order has to be done. That’s an order signed off on by either the clerk or the judge that says, ‘This person is due in court and has to be there,'” 8News legal analyst Russ Stone said. “Sometimes, it happens that information isn’t as updated as it, perhaps, should be. If they assume a person is in the hospital rather than the jail, then there wouldn’t be a transportation order. But it may have happened that he got moved from the hospital to the jail [and] nobody alerted the clerk.”
Stone said that Reinhardt is unlikely to face further penalties for failing to appear in court on Monday, as his custody status would have necessitated that he be transported to Richmond City Circuit Court by authorities from either the jail or the hospital.
“The clerk needs to know where a person is before they’re going to do a transportation order, and they may not have in this instance,” Stone said. “Ninety-nine-point-nine times out of 100, a judge is not going to find somebody guilty of failure to appear if the reason you didn’t appear was because you were in jail because you don’t really have much control over that.”
Jail records show that Reinhardt is being held on three charges, unrelated to last week’s officer-involved shooting:
- Suspended sentence violation – misdemeanor
- Special penalty structure fail to appear felony/misdemeanor summons
- Fail to appear in court for a misdemeanor offense
Chief Smith noted last Monday that additional charges were pending.
“The evidence that our forensic unit has collected on scene will be taken in investigative review. Our detectives will continue their investigation, hopefully, with the help of the public,” he said. “They will be interviewing those who were involved who have yet to be interviewed, and then, they will be taking that and presenting that information to, more than likely, the Commonwealth’s Attorney.”
8News has been unable to confirm whether interviews with both the suspect and the officer who fired his weapon have been conducted as of Monday.
Stone noted that there is still time for new charges to be filed against Reinhardt.
“If you’re dealing with a shooting, odds are those are felony offenses, and there is no statute of limitations in Virginia on felony offenses,” he said. “[Charges] could be brought at any time when the Commonwealth feels they can go forward with the case. Misdemeanors, it’s 12 months.”
Since Reinhardt was not in court Monday for his scheduled arraignment on a previous failure to appear charge, records show that his hearing has been continued to August.
8News reached out to both the Commonwealth’s Attorney for additional information on when charges for the officer-involved shooting would be filed, and the Sheriff’s Office for insight on the apparent communication breakdown in where Reinhardt was located, but is awaiting responses.
Court records show that Reinhardt was first found guilty of misdemeanor eluding police in 2020, stemming from an incident in June of that year in Henrico County.
According to the Henrico County Police Division (HCPD), on June 19, 2020, at approximately 8:40 p.m., officers were conducting stationary radar northbound on the Willey Bridge when a silver Ford sedan was observed speeding. The officer reportedly initiated a traffic stop, pulling over Reinhardt. A spokesperson for HCPD said that the responding officer noted Reinhardt was “acting suspiciously and the officer recognized signs of marijuana use in the vehicle.”
Reinhardt reportedly handed over his license, but when the officer ran his information, Reinhardt fled from the traffic stop. According to police, the officer followed him with emergency equipment displayed, however, he was driving too fast, and the chase was discontinued.
Reinhardt was later found guilty of forging a banknote from a January 2021 offense. According to an HCPD spokesperson, an officer responded to a business in the 4800 block of Williamsburg Road, near the intersection of S. Laburnum Avenue, for the report of a larceny. The manager of the business informed the officers that between Jan. 16, 2021, and Jan. 21, 2021, on three different occasions, an individual had come through the drive-thru and handed the cashier counterfeit cash in exchange for real cash. After investigating, the officer determined that Reinhardt was the suspect, and warrants were issued for his arrest.