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State Police: man hit in officer-involved shooting in Roanoke dies, name released

ROANOKE, Va.  – UPDATE: Virginia State Police have identified a man shot by Roanoke police Thursday as Rasheed Moorman, 26, of Roanoke.

Authorities said Friday Moorman was struck by return fire when he allegedly shot at police and was taken to a hospital, where he died.

During the exchange of gunfire, a police vehicle and a nearby apartment window were hit, according to State Police.

Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman, and Virginia State Police, have indicated a gun was recovered from the scene.

Once State Police complete their investigation, the findings will be turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for review.

Stay with WDBJ7 for updates on this developing story.

EARLIER STORY: One person was shot and another ran off in an exchange of gunfire at a Roanoke City apartment complex Thursday afternoon.

Police Chief Sam Roman said police were at the Ashton Heights complex off Melrose Avenue and tried to talk to at least two males about a shooting at the same complex June 22. Roman said those people ran, and as an officer started chasing, one of the men turned, showed a gun and fired more than once.

Two officers returned fire, hitting one of the men. The other man ran off and has not been found. Police were not hurt.

“They came through these two buildings,” a woman who lives in Ashton Heights and wanted to remain anonymous said.

She described what she saw through her apartment window.

“The cop was chasing the black male,” she said. “They came out here in front of the window, the cop pulled his gun, the black guy got out of my site, and the next thing we know we hear two shots.”

She also said the man was awake as paramedics loaded him into an ambulance. State Police Sgt. Rick Garletts confirmed the man was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital with “life-threatening” injuries.

Since Roanoke Police were involved, Virginia State Police have taken over the investigation, as is standard operating procedure.

During a press conference Thursday evening, Garletts laid out how this investigation will proceed.

“Our special agents are talking to everybody they can out there,” he said. “They’re collecting every piece of evidence they can, in order to get the facts of this case complete.”

He said agents have also collected at least one key piece of evidence.

“I think we can say there was a firearm recovered,” he said.

This is the first officer-involved shooting in Roanoke since October. The Police Department’s Use of Force policy says, in part, officers may use deadly force “in defense of human life, including the officer’s life.”

“We respond to the force in which that is being given to the officer, in a way that the officers can protect themselves and the public as well,” Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman said.

He explained the officers involved in the shooting have been pulled off the street while the investigation continues, and were shaken by what happened.

“Obviously the officers are very upset,” Roman said. “I don’t think there’s any officer who feels good about having to use his or her weapon.”

Tensions remain high between protesters and police across the country around officers’ use of force, but Chief Roman says he believes Roanoke is an exception.

“I understand why people are mad with the institution of police. I give daily reminders that I don’t believe many people are mad with the Roanoke police, because again, we do a great job with trying to connect with our community.”

Donald Wolfe

Donald’s writings have appeared in HuffPost, Washington Examiner, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Virginian-Pilot, among other publications. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He is the Virginian Tribune's Publisher.

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