Virginia State Police Take Over Spotsylvania Shooting Investigation

By Brian Carlton

April 22, 2021

Virginia State Police are investigating a Spotsylvania deputy after he shot a person early Wednesday morning.

SPOTSYLVANIA-One Spotsylvania County resident is in the hospital after being shot by a local deputy Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon, the Spotsylvania sheriff’s office turned the investigation over to the Virginia State Police. This marks the third officer-involved shooting that agencies asked VSP to investigate within the last month. 

There’s very little information available at this point about what led to the shooting. The sheriff’s office said at 3:18 a.m. Wednesday, an unnamed deputy responded to a domestic disturbance call in the 12200 block of Catharpin Road. The Virginia State Police add that the deputy met 32-year-old Isaiah L. Brown, who was walking away from the house. Here’s where the two responses, from Spotsylvania and VSP, lack detail. 

The Spotsylvania statement simply says “a deputy encountered an adult male. During the course of that encounter, the deputy discharged his service weapon and the male suspect was struck.” 

Nothing in either response explains why Brown was a suspect or what he was suspected of. The State Police go into a bit more detail, saying Brown was walking away from his own home when he met the deputy. 

“The sheriff’s deputy attempted to verbally engage Brown and it was during this encounter that the deputy discharged his service weapon,” the VSP statement added. 

To be clear, there is nothing in either statement mentioning why the deputy fired his gun. The deputy suffered no injuries, the VSP statement adds. If you’re wondering about body cameras, we don’t know if the deputy had one yet. The Spotsylvania County sheriff’s office records show they’ve outfitted more than 112 deputies with the technology as of 2020.

‘Serious, But Not Life-Threatening’

The VSP statement says the deputy provided medical treatment after shooting Brown. EMS officials later arrived on scene and took Brown to nearby Mary Washington Hospital. As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, Brown was being treated for “serious, but not life-threatening injuries,” the State Police said. 

Less than a few hours later, Spotsylvania Sheriff Roger Harris called the Virginia State Police, asking them to take over the investigation into the shooting. This makes the third officer-involved shooting and fourth overall request in the last 30 days for Virginia State Police to investigate a law enforcement agency. 

First, there was the Donovon Lynch investigation. A still-unnamed Virginia Beach police officer shot and killed Lynch March 26, claiming the man was “brandishing” a gun. However, Lynch’s family say they have witnesses that contradict that claim. Second, on March 30, Bristol police responded to a 911 call at 3:17 am at the Rodeway Inn. Someone had called in a report of shots being fired. 

Officers arrived on scene and linked 31-year-old Jonathen Kohler to the shots. They found him sitting in a 1994 Ford Mustang in the Inn’s parking lot and ordered him to get out. Instead, he shifted gears and started driving towards one of the officers, who pulled out a gun and opened fire, killing Kohler. 

Third, there was the situation in Windsor between two town police officers and Army Lt. Caron Nazario. We’ve all seen the video. We’ve heard the calls for investigations, seen the police chief’s press conference and the Windsor council’s statement. 

And then there’s this situation in Spotsylvania. Four cases. Four investigations. Plenty of questions.

Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at [email protected].

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