Police reviewing video footage for man fatally shot by officer
Jan 15, 2013 (Richmond Times-Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A cash drawer found in the car of a Richmond man fatally shot by police when, authorities said, he reached for an officer's handgun while resisting arrest matched the drawer a clerk saw a man take minutes earlier from a Chesterfield County business, police said Monday.
Investigators are examining video taken from a surveillance camera at the Exxon station at 10300 Hull Street Road to determine if Frankie Pitt, 45, can be seen removing the cash drawer about 2:45 a.m. Sunday. A clerk there saw the suspect enter the store and take the drawer, a police spokeswoman said.
Shortly before 3 a.m., a Chesterfield police officer stopped to help what he initially believed to be a disabled motorist on the on-ramp to southbound Chippenham Parkway from Hull Street Road, near the county line with the city of Richmond.
Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer found the driver, later identified as Pitt, with the cash drawer that had been reported stolen about 10 minutes earlier. When the officer tried to arrest Pitt, he resisted and a struggle ensued for the officer's gun, police said.
While grappling for the firearm, the officer was able to fire the weapon, striking Pitt, according to police. He died at the scene.
Authorities declined to identify the officer after a request by The Times-Dispatch.
The officer was treated for unspecified non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital and was released. As is customary in police-involved shootings, the officer has been temporarily assigned to administrative duties while the shooting is investigated.
Azzie Robinson, Pitt's fiancee, said police advised her that Pitt's car was on the side of the highway with its lights flashing, and Pitt was "standing there messing with the gas tank" shortly before the shooting. Robinson, who questions the police account of the incident, said she had last seen Pitt about 5 a.m. Friday as he left for his job as a tractor-trailer driver with Quick Way Inc.
Pitt is the third person to be shot by county police -- the second fatally -- in five months in confrontations with officers.
Brian T. McDaniel, 39, was fatally shot Dec. 10 after he allegedly pulled a gun on officers inside his Chesterfield home as they tried to serve him with two felony assault warrants involving domestic disputes with relatives. McDaniel had been charged nearly a dozen times in the past 17 years with assaulting or stalking various family members, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2005 for assaulting three Chesterfield officers.
That shooting remains under investigation.
In another officer-involved shooting, Russell D. Hornkohl, 51, was shot and wounded Aug. 23 after authorities said he pointed a revolver at an officer at the end of a police pursuit. He was stopped about 6 miles from his home in the 4900 block of Kimmeridge Drive after he severely beat his wife with a baseball bat and fled, police said.
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