HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — A grand jury voted not to indict an officer with the Hopewell Police Department who shot and killed a suspect who reportedly pointed a gun at police after an armed robbery in 2018.
Shortly before 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2018, officers were called to a gas station in the 900 block of Winston Churchill Drive for a reported armed robbery.
Upon their arrival, officers canvassed the area and found a woman matching the robbery suspect’s description running in the 700 block of Elm Street.
“Officers approached her and issued several verbal commands for her to stop,” a spokesperson from the police department said in a statement. “While disregarding the officers’ verbal commands, the adult female subsequently pointed a handgun at one of the officers, who fired a single shot. The female offender was struck and died at the scene.”
The Medical Examiner’s Office later said the woman was shot in the chest and identified her as Angel Viola Decarlo.
An investigation into the officer-involved shooting was led by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office.
According to police, Decarlo had entered the gas station and demanded money from an employee while displaying a firearm. The victim of the robbery shared information with authorities, including a description of Decarlo and her vehicle. She eventually exited the vehicle and was running away when she was spotted by police.
The incident was captured by a police body camera “in its entirety,” according to police.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, the case was presented to a grand jury in Hopewell. The jury reviewed evidence presented and voted not to issue an indictment.
“Our commitment to providing accurate information is essential for building and maintaining trust between the police department and the community that we serve.” Accurate information is a cornerstone of transparency and vital to effective law enforcement,” said Hopewell Police Chief Gregory Taylor in a statement. “This has been a complex and lengthy journey that has now ended. The impact on the family and friends of Ms. Decarlo, the community at large, and the emotional toll on the officer and their families is deep-rooted and profound. After almost five years of dealing with such a complex and challenging situation, our focus will be shifted towards healing.”