There are new details about the officer-involved shooting that happened last month near the Charlottesville downtown mall. A Charlottesville grand jury indicted the man shot twice by a police officer after he was ordered to drop his gun.
Grand jury indictments show Franklin Donnett Brown is facing two felony charges following the shooting on March 16. Brown faces one charge of malicious wounding and one for using a firearm during a felony. The grand jury did not indict on a second count of malicious wounding.
Investigators say Brown fired one shot after Leon Brock, 22, and others allegedly jumped him outside the Elks Lodge (I.B.P.O.E. of W. Rivanna #195) on Second Street Northwest. The shot hit Brock.
The responding officers told Brown to drop his weapon - that's when Charlottesville police officer Alex Bruner fired two shots, hitting Brown.
Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman said that no criminal charges will be filed against Officer Bruner. In a statement, Chapman says "from provided evidence it appears Officer Bruner acted in justifiable defense." (read full statement below)
Officer Bruner is currently on administrative leave.
"Anytime a law enforcement officer is involved in a shooting incident it is normal for every organization to relieve that officer from their duties and then put them on an administrative leave until such time as the investigation has been concluded," said Lieutenant Ronnie Roberts of the Charlottesville Police Department.
Police administration is still looking into the officers' actions before he can return to active duty.
Both Brown and Brock were treated at University of Virginia Medical Center for their gunshot wounds.
Brown is scheduled to be back in Charlottesville Circuit Court May 16 to handle attorney arrangements. His preliminary hearing is set for June 17.
Office of City of Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Press Release
On Monday, April 15, 2013 the Charlottesville Circuit Court grand jury returned two indictments against Franklin Dennett Brown for the offenses of Malicious Wounding (18.2-51) and Use of a firearm in the Commission of Malicious Wounding (18,263.1). The indictments derive from a March 16, 2013 shooting incident on 2nd St., NW nearby the Elks Club in downtown Charlottesville. The indictments have now been served on Mr. Brown. Please bear in mind that an indictment means that the grand jury found probable cause to charge Mr. Brown with an offense. He is presumed to be innocent.
Mr. Brown and another individual, Leon Travis Brock, sustained gunshot Wounds during this incident.
During the investigation a neutral, nonparticipant witness provided information to police that Charlottesville Police Officer Alexander Bruner, who responded to the scene of the disorder from a nearby location, audibly told Mr. Brown to put his firearm down before the officer discharged his service weapon at Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown was struck two times. This witness corroborated the input of other witnesses who also reported hearing Off. Bruner direct Mr. Brown to put his firearm down. The neutral Witness' input also corroborated other witness input that Off. Bruner tired his service weapon after Mr. Brown had already discharged his firearm and wounded Mr. Brock. At the time he was shot, Mr. Brown was still holding his firearm with his arm outstretched and pointing in the direction of Mr. Brock.
From the evidence it appears that Off. Bruner acted in justified defense of Mr. Brock under circumstances in which it would reasonably have appeared to him that there was an imminent risk to Mr. Brock of great bodily harm or death. As a result, no criminal charges against Off. Bruner are appropriate.