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Saturday, January 29, 2011

[VA] Civil and domestic-relations attorney Ferris killed after firing on SWAT during standoff

A highly regarded civil and domestic-relations attorney pRichard C. Ferris II] was fatally shot by Chesterfield County police Friday after twice firing on officers following an overnight standoff... Officers kept their distance but re-established contact with Mrs. Ferris, who told police that she wasn't concerned about herself but was worried about her husband... The department's hostage negotiation and SWAT teams were called, "and they basically spent the next three hours trying to convince her to leave the house with her children"... "Everyone from the judges, attorneys and clerks are equally shocked. Everyone was blindsided"...

CHESTERFIELD LAWYER KILLED BY POLICE AFTER STANDOFF
Richmond Times Dispatch
By Mark Bowes
Published: January 29, 2011
[Excerpts] A highly regarded civil and domestic-relations attorney was fatally shot by Chesterfield County police Friday after twice firing on officers following an overnight standoff at his Chesterfield home, police said. Richard C. Ferris II, 45, was killed about 8 a.m. when he fired at officers from the garage of his home in the 11200 block of Timber Point Drive for the second time in about 10 minutes, Chesterfield police Maj. Terry Patterson said Police were first called to the home in Woodland Pond subdivision near Pocahontas State Park at 11:42 p.m. Thursday after Chesterfield emergency communications received a 911 hang-up call. When the dispatch center re-established contact, they determined Mrs. Ferris had dialed 911 and she advised that she was concerned about her husband's welfare, Patterson said. When officers arrived they heard what sounded like gunfire inside the house, Patterson said. Officers kept their distance but re-established contact with Mrs. Ferris, who told police that she wasn't concerned about herself but was worried about her husband... The department's hostage negotiation and SWAT teams were called, "and they basically spent the next three hours trying to convince her to leave the house with her children," Patterson said. She and her four children, ranging in age from pre-school to teenager, departed safely. Negotiators then repeatedly tried to make contact with Ferris throughout the night... When that failed, officers tried forcing him out by firing tear gas canisters... At about 7:50 a.m., Ferris emerged from the house into his garage and fired on SWAT team members... Ferris was earlier observed in the house with a rifle slung over his back... "Needless to say, [Mrs. Ferris] is very upset, very distraught, and is not really communicating with us right now," Patterson said. Several hours after the shooting, two women in a black BMW arrived and tried to slowly drive through a police barricade to reach the house. The driver, who later identified herself as Ferris's mother, initially ignored several police commands to stop. The two women then got out and screamed hysterically after learning that Ferris had been killed. Both women repeatedly tried to walk past the officers to the house and were physically restrained... "The [Chesterfield] courthouse is kind of in shock," said defense attorney Greg Sheldon, who had a professional relationship with Ferris. "It's difficult to fathom that anything like this could happen... Chesterfield prosecutor Melissa Hoy, who did some guardian ad litem work with Ferris when she was in private practice in the 1990s, was equally stunned. "Everyone is as shocked as I am," Hoy said. "Everyone from the judges, attorneys and clerks are equally shocked. Everyone was blindsided"... Chesterfield Circuit Court judges must formally appoint a special prosecutor in the case... [Full article here]

FRIEND OF CHESTERFIELD ATTORNEY SHOT BY POLICE SPEAKS OUT
NBC12
By Tara Morgan
Posted: Jan 28, 2011
Updated: Jan 29, 2011
[Excerpts] Nearly twenty four hours after a deadly standoff in Chesterfield, police continue to work at the scene piecing together what happened. Officers shot a prominent attorney at his home on Timber Point Drive in the Woodland Pond neighborhood in southern Chesterfield... "He fired a weapon at the officers and they returned fire," said Major Terry Patterson with Chesterfield police... Ferris lived with his wife Michelle and their children. After a 911 hang up in the middle of the night, dispatchers got ahold of Michelle Ferris who police say was concerned about her husband's welfare. Police say tear gas, and a negotiations attempt didn't work. "The officers certainly - their concern was to get innocent people out of the house," said Major Patterson... [Full article here]
[public official involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse fatality fatalities suicide-by-cop virginia state]

8 comments:

  1. I would like to apologize to the commenter that tried to post. I feel like your comment was legit - but I don't let anyone trash anyone when that person no longer alive. I hear you - and I agree with this part of your comment: "...And yet, people are continue to blame the Police for killing the guy. He FIRED on police were people really expecting a different outcome?..."

    It sounds like the police had options and the one they chose is not surprising. Officers have a hard job. There are so many police killings and I have no expectation that police not shoot back.

    I am sorry to the family, friends, and co-workers of Mr. Ferris.

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  2. My sincere prayers and thoughts are with the family. I can assure the public that Rick never shot in his home nor held his family hostage. The police made an anthill into a mountain. They were told to leave several times by the wife whom said everyone was ok. When they established face to face contact they should have left obviously they were fine. I blame the police for his murder they violated every single right of not only Mr ferris but his family and children as well. You should be embarresed to call yourselfs a police department...serving the public pfffff laying a father of four children in a coffin for no reason is sickining.

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  3. Really??? "I can assure the public that Rick never shot in his home." Were you there? I suppose you would like us to believe that he did not shoot at the police either.

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  4. I worked with Rick during my tenure as Victim/Witness Director and I can only voice my shock and saddness. Rick was one of the kindest, nicest and smartest man I have had the pleasure to work with during my 20 odd years in the Criminal Justice system. This was a no win situation, but for the life of me I just don't understand what happened to my friend, My prayers are with his family, friends and the many people Rick worked so hard to help.

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  5. If he shot at cops, no wait, if he shot around cops, no wait, if he even wouldn't put the gun down, he was committing suicide by cop. With all the officers that have already been killed this year if you want to live put the weapon down.

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  6. Don't believe everything in the media. He never harmed his family not put them in danger. An anthill made into a mountain by chesterfields finest once again. My sincere appologies to those who are to blinded to see how much of a wounderful father and husband he was. He will be missed by many. My prayers are with his family.

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  7. I wondered if he may have had a chemical imbalance at the time. I have known of people whose potassium dropped along with dehydration and they spaced out.

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  8. Police waited less than one hour from the departure of Mrs Ferris who informed them that neither she nor her children were ever in danger, and asked the police to leave to launch one of the most aggressive attacks in the history of SWAT in the state of Virginia. Over 40 tear gas grenades in a four hour assault... For those of us who deal with CS gas the end result was very predictable as the on scene commander would know. This was nothing short of an unwarranted execution by the Chesterfield Police Department.

    Once the Chesterfield Police Department finishes investigating itself the Federal Bureau of Investigation will conduct a civil rights/police corruption investigation.

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