Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Officer-Involved Shooting Update

July 26, 2017

The Richmond Police Department has identified the person who was fatally shot during an encounter with RPD officers yesterday morning.

Alexander J. Schoessel, 23, of the 1100 block of Rochelle Road, Chester, VA
was shot at approximately 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of 3rd and East Main Streets as he attacked an RPD officer with a small axe. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:31 a.m.

Two RPD officers discharged their weapons during the attack. They are:
·         Nicholas Pechstein, 28, Patrol Officer, 8 months of service
·         Joshua Sanborn, 24, Patrol Officer, 8 months of service

An RPD officer was wounded when he was caught in the line of fire. The bullet struck his ballistic vest. He was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released. He is:
·         John Rotondi, 43, Patrol Officer, 12 years of service

“I am grateful that Officer Rotondi was not seriously wounded,” said Chief Alfred Durham. “He is a fine officer – one we rely on to train our newer officers so they learn the proper way to do the job.”

All of the officers who were present at the time of the shooting have received behavioral health counseling to help them deal with what they’ve experienced. They may continue to receive counseling if they wish.

“Although it is early in our investigation, from what I’ve seen and heard, these officers behaved with the utmost professionalism and courage,” said Chief Durham. “I believe they acted with restraint until they were called upon to use greater force.”

Videos captured by several body-worn cameras will be used by the Department’s Force Investigation Team (FIT) as they prepare a report for Chief Durham who will review it and then submit it to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for review. The videos will be released once the C.A.’s Office has made its determination. The FIT detectives have also interviewed all the RPD officers who were present and several eyewitnesses, and they will process ballistic and forensic evidence collected at the scene.