PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Virginia police officer Stephen Rankin has been indicted for first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony for the shooting death of 18-year-old William Chapman, reports CBS affiliate WTKR.
Chapman was shot and killed by Rankin during an altercation in a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth on April 22.
A witness told the station that the officer and Chapman had a fight and that the officer pulled out his Taser, but Chapman hit it out of his hand, then pulled out his gun and said something. Then the witness says Chapman lunged at the officer who shot and killed him.
Chapman was shot in the face and the chest according to the medical examiner's office. An autopsy reportedly revealed that there were no drugs or alcohol found in his system when he died, and that his pants pockets were turned inside out.
Rankin's lawyer, Nicole Belote, says her client's actions were justified.
"He gives Mr. Chapman commands, and it's at that point Mr. Chapman charges at him and the officer had to respond," said Belote.
This is the second time Rankin has shot and killed an unarmed man while an officer. WTKR reports that in April of 2011, Rankin shot and killed 26-year-old Kirill Denyakin, who police say was drunk and charged at Rankin. After an investigation by Virginia State Police, Officer Rankin was charged with voluntary manslaughter but a grand jury decided not to indict him.
Portsmouth Police handed over the William Chapman investigation to Virginia State Police immediately after the shooting because it was the second officer-involved shooting in a month in the city.
Virginia State Police completed their investigation in late August.