PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A Petersburg man is dead after authorities say a shotgun went off while he was being served an eviction notice. Now, that man’s family and friends are speaking out.
It happened around 11 a.m. Monday at a home on Grant Avenue in Petersburg. State police said a Sheriff’s Deputy accompanied a landlord to serve an eviction notice.
After an encounter with the tenant, the deputy called the Petersburg Police Department for backup. When officers returned, VSP said the tenant was armed with a shotgun.
According to a release, law enforcement personnel engaged with the male, the shotgun was discharged, and the tenant died at the scene.
The family confirmed to 8News that the man was 67-year-old Christopher Bowen of Petersburg.
“It’s tragic,” said a woman who knew Bowen, but did not want to be identified. “It’s tragic and devastating.’
The woman said she’d known Bowen and considered him a friend. She said this situation sounds out of character for him.
“He was an amazing guy. Very down to earth and willing to help anybody out with anything they needed,” she said. “He was supportive, easy to talk to, and outgoing. He was a veteran and worked at the Wawa on Crater Road.’
Virginia State University confirmed he had also been a resident educator there from 2000 until 2004.
“He was just a calm, easy-going, and smooth guy,” she said.
Sgt. Jessica Shehan told 8News earlier in the day that those details were under investigation, but Virginia State Police sent out a press release with new details just before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Police said when the officers and deputy entered the house, they found Bowen armed with a shotgun. Approximately 20 to 25 minutes into negotiating with Bowen to put down the firearm, police said Bowen discharged the weapon on himself. He died from his injuries at the scene.
There was no one else inside the residence at the time of the incident, and no law enforcement officers were injured.