PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- Newly released video from a police body camera in Virginia shows a white officer shooting a black suspect in the back as he tries to run away. The Virginian-Pilot obtained video showing rookie Portsmouth Officer Jeremy Durocher wounding Deontrace Ward, who authorities described as an armed burglary suspect.
Authorities say the shooting occurred in October as police responded to a robbery call in a residential neighborhood in the southeast Virginia city.
Ward's mother, Eboni West, said the video shows the shooting was unjustified.
"It was heartbreaking to see my son shot while running away," West told the paper. "He didn't deserve to get shot."
Durocher's attorney, Nicolas Renninger, said Ward was a clear danger because he was armed. Police said they found a loaded handgun in Ward's pant leg. In the video, Durocher can be heard yelling, "He has a gun!"
"He had it flying like, towards me," Durocher is heard saying after he opens fire.
But Ward, who still has a bullet in his abdomen, told the newspaper he never pulled his gun.
"I was just pretty much trying to get away. Showing no aggression," Ward said. "I feel he shot for no reason."
Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales is investigating whether the use of force was justified.
Ward is scheduled to stand trial May 1 on several felony charges including armed statutory burglary, assault of a police officer and possession of a firearm by a felon, the Virginian-Pilot reports. Court documents allege he stole jewelry from the home just before he was shot, the paper reports.
It's not known if he has an attorney.