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Cville police "neutralize" suspect with a gun

Red Roof cops.jpg
Dozens of city, county and state police converged on a parking lot in Charlottesville to take down a man with a gun

Charlottesville police say the trouble began at around 10 a.m. Tuesday when a detective with Albemarle County Police spotted a man who was wanted for an unnamed crime.

The officer reportedly approached 44-year-old Billy Sites – an Albemarle County resident with a long criminal history. Sites ran into a wooded area nearby and began firing his gun. Charlottesville police arrived and closed a major roadway – the 250 bypass -- according to chief Michael Kochis.

“We asked for tactical resources to show up, to help take over that area, to ensure that this person did not enter the community and cause anybody harm. Albemarle County's Tactical Response Team responded and took over the scene.”

Motel guest Joshua Lucas, who was visiting from Philadelphia, videotaped what happened next.

“He’s trying to run. He’s trying to run from them!" he says as the video shows a man moving away from officers. Shots are fired, and Lucas shouts, "Oh, they hit him! (expletive) He’s on the ground. The dog is biting him. Is he dead? Yeah."

Lucas thought Sites was having a mental health crisis.

“Saying that he wanted to get in a car and leave and he’ll drop his gun and kept putting the gun to his head and saying he’s going to be homeless anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”

At first, Lucas says, Sites was hit by a rubber bullet and fell to the ground. He was then shot to death.

The witness did not see Sites threaten police, but Kochis, claims the suspect had pointed his gun at officers.

“At that point they fired at the suspect, striking him several times. The suspect was transported to UVA Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.”

Kochis refused to answer reporters’ questions. The case is now under investigation by state police.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief