Sunday, July 19, 2009

Virginia: No charges against Suffolk store owner who shot suspect

Whaleyville, Virginia

From WVEC of July 16, 2009
No charges against Suffolk store owner who shot suspect

No charges will be filed against a man who shot and killed a would-be robber in his store, the Suffolk commonwealth's attorney announced Thursday.

On the morning on June 21, the alarm went off at James Durden’s Whaleyville store – J&L Food Mart.

Durden, who lives close by, grabbed a gun and went to the store. His brother told 13News that Durden opened fire because he thought the man pointed a gun at him.

That man, identified as Ernest Scott Roop, was struck four times.

Detectives determined Roop was wearing camouflage clothing with his face concealed in a "ninjna" style fashion. They also said Roop had a hunting knife and crowbar and was wearing heavy construction gloves.

In the letter to Police Chief Thomas Bennett, C. Phillip Ferguson stated, “Mr. Durden was confronted with a very dangerous situation created by Roop and was legally justified in using deadly force as he genuinely believed that Roop had a firearm and that his own life was in danger.

In addition, from a practical standpoint, convinced that a Suffolk jury would not convict Mr. Durden of criminal misconduct under the facts of this case.

Therefore, this Office declines to prosecute any charges against Mr. Durden.”

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