VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach police officer sustained minor injuries after being hit by a bullet Thursday morning.
The department said officers were struggling with a person in custody around 10:20 a.m. at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital when an officer’s gun discharged.
The officer was hit in a lower extremity and sustained a minor injury. He has been released from the hospital.
Police on Friday said they arrested 28-year-old William Deloatche, of Virginia Beach, in connection with the incident.
In the Friday update, police said VBPD officers were at the hospital when Deloatche, who wasn’t related to their assignment, allegedly grabbed an officer’s handgun and tried to disarm him.
A struggle began as the officer tried to “secure his handgun,” police said.
Other officers stepped in to help handcuff Deloatche, but he was allegedly “determined to disarm the officer resulting in a protracted skirmish,” police said.
Deloatche was unable to remove the handgun from the officer’s holster, but he did cause it to fire. The round went through the bottom of the holster and hit another officer in a “lower extremity.”
Deloatche is charged with attempting to disarm a police officer and malicious assault of a police officer.
This may feel familiar to those in the Virginia Beach community.
In October 2021, a murder suspect attempted to disarm an officer resulting in the gun discharging at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
The incident led to VBPD recalling a specific type of holster that automatically activated an officer’s body camera when the gun was pulled out.
Officials said they did it out of an abundance of caution because of a potential defect in those holsters.
Since then, all officers went back to using their prior issued holsters, which don’t activate bodycams.
“For the second time in recent months, an individual has assaulted and tried to disarm a uniformed Virginia Beach Police Officer. We are extremely fortunate that training and determination kept our officers from being killed,” Police Chief Paul Neudigate said Friday. “At a time when law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty across this nation are on the increase, we need our community to send a message that attacks on our police officers cannot continue, and that when they do there will be substantial consequences.”
10 On Your Side is working to learn more.