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Man shot by Roanoke officer has died, state police say

Man shot by Roanoke officer has died, state police say

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A 28-year-old man shot by Roanoke police Wednesday has died, state police said.

Chase Andrew Austin, of Vinton, died after an officer shot him outside the Krispy Kreme in northwest Roanoke on Wednesday afternoon.

Police had been called to the doughnut shop for a trespassing incident. A man who had been banned from the store was on the property and refused to leave, according to state police, who investigate all officer-involved shootings in Roanoke.

A Roanoke officer arrived and began speaking with the man. State police say at some point the man “became confrontational and produced a black semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at the officer.”

The officer fired his gun, hitting the man, who ran off but was captured nearby in the Lowe’s parking lot, police said.

Austin was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. State police initially had described the man’s injuries as serious but recoverable.

The medical examiner’s office said Thursday afternoon that Austin’s autopsy was pending.

No officers were injured in the shooting.

The Roanoke officer has been placed on administrative leave until the end of the state police investigation, which could take several months. He has not been publicly identified.

Police have not said how many shots were fired or whether any other officers were involved. A state police spokesman said Thursday that the agency would not be providing any more information.

State police said that at the time of the shooting, Austin was wanted by police and was in possession of a gun reported stolen from a vehicle in Roanoke.

An arrest warrant was issued Sept. 26 after Austin didn’t appear for a court hearing in Roanoke County on a felony charge of assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, according to online court records.

Austin was a 2009 graduate of William Byrd High School, a schools spokesman said. He applied to Virginia Western Community College for fall 2011 but never enrolled, a spokesman for the college said.

“Chase was a loving person,” said Torie Kessler, 26, a friend. “It shouldn’t have been his turn to go.”

Kessler said Austin leaves behind a young son and daughter. Austin had recently been struggling because of custody issues and “started hanging out with the wrong people,” she said. He recently worked for a painting business.

On Thursday, the city denied a Roanoke Times request under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act for body camera footage and emergency dispatch communications of the shooting, citing the ongoing state police investigation.

Roanoke police were last involved in a fatal shooting in November 2017. An officer shot and killed 31-year-old Victor Demetrius Bray when he fired a shot at a woman.

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