HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton police shot a 30-year-old male suspect after a female sergeant was struck with a bat Tuesday morning at a Ford dealership, police say.
It happened around 11:30 a.m. at Wynne Ford in 1000 block of West Mercury Blvd., near the intersection with N. Armistead Avenue, not far from the Hampton Coliseum.
Watch the full press conference from Hampton Police below:
People inside the business were afraid and locked the doors, Chief Talbot added.
During a press conference around 4 p.m. Tuesday, Chief Mark Talbot with Hampton Police stated that the initial call for the incident came in around 11:04 a.m. regarding a known man at the parking lot of Wynne Ford “pacing around, being aggressive and carrying a baseball bat.”
The man has now been identified as 30-year-old Christopher Clayton Rice from Newport News.
Warrants are on file for malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer and trespassing.
As of Thursday afternoon, Rice remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
When they got to the scene, officers encountered Rice who police say refused to put the bat down which led the officers to call a supervisor.
The still-unnamed supervisor, a 20-year veteran with Hampton Police, attempted to de-escalate the situation and encouraged Rice to put the bat down.
This is when Chief Talbot says the man struck the supervisor in the head.
A separate officer then drew his weapon and shot the male suspect. The gunshots were reported around 11:37 a.m., around 30 minutes following the initial call for the incident.
Sgt. R.C. Williams with Hampton police said Rice has life-threatening injuries and the female supervisor has non life-threatening injuries. Both were sent to the hospital following the incident, and police said on Wednesday that the sergeant was later released from the hospital.
Police confirmed there were four officers at the scene and there is body camera footage of the incident which Chief Talbot stated that they are currently reviewing.
10 On Your Side’s Jon Dowding stated that there were at least a dozen police vehicles on the scene including the forensic unit.
A witness, Thomas Moore, says he came down to make sure no one he knew was hurt in the shooting.
“It could be anybody, family or friends. Make sure it’s not somebody that I know or know of. You just never know,” said Moore.
It is not yet confirmed whether the suspect had additional weapons.
When questioned whether Rice might have been suffering from a mental health crisis at the time of the incident, Chief Talbot stated that, following the initial review of the police bodycam footage involved, the man “did not say anything” that would indicate that he was.
During the briefing, Chief Talbot said the female supervisor “did her job very well.”
“[She] made all of us very proud,” said Chief Talbot.
As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, police were still gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. There will be an internal investigation into the shooting, which is standard procedure. The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave pending investigations into the incident.
The last officer-involved shooting in Hampton was in 2017, according to the HPD Open Data Portal.