UPDATE: December 1, 2020
On December 1, 2020, the Winchester Police Department (WPD) was notified by the Virginia State Police and Commonwealth’s Attorney Marc Abrams that no charges would be sought in the officer involved shooting on Massanutten Terrace on November 11th that resulted in the death of 52-year-old Winchester resident Eric Clark.
At the request of Chief John R. Piper, the Virginia State Police (VSP) Bureau of Criminal Investigation was asked to investigate the incident. The VSP presented their comprehensive findings to Mr. Abrams, who issued the attached statement justifying the actions of Corporal S. O’Connor. Chief Piper commended the professionalism and bravery demonstrated by his officers, stating that “If it were not for the actions taken by the men and women of the WPD, other lives may have been lost that day. No one enters the law enforcement profession wanting to take a life; however, when circumstances exist which require the use of deadly force to protect officers or citizens, then our community should feel comfort knowing our officers are well trained, properly equipped, and prepared.”
Now that the investigation has been completed, the WPD will conduct an administrative review of the incident.
News Relelase: November 12, 2020
A Winchester resident is dead following an encounter with officers that occurred shortly after 7:00 a.m. on November 11, 2020. Winchester Police (WPD) were dispatched to the 2400 block of Massanutten Terrace for a report of a man damaging a neighbor’s car with a sledgehammer. When officers arrived on scene, the male, later identified as Eric Clark, 52, of Massanutten Terrace, exited his apartment with a rifle, firing several shots at them. A WPD officer with 12 years of service, who is not being named at this time, was able to return fire with his patrol rifle, striking the male. Clark was pronounced deceased at the scene.
At the request of WPD Chief John Piper, the Virginia State Police were contacted to conduct the investigation. No officers were injured during the incident; however, a WPD vehicle was severely damaged. Pursuant to policy, three officers have been placed on administrative leave, with pay, pending the investigation. Any further media inquiries should be referred to the Virginia State Police and/or the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Winchester.