Split-Second Decision Results in Death - 01/25/2007

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Reported by Henry Graff
January 25, 2007

Authorities now confirm a teenager was shot and killed along Route 33 in Greene County Wednesday night.

Sixteen-year-old Allen Cochran's life came to a tragic end Wednesday night after authorities say he tried to run over an officer with his car. Authorities say this all could have been prevented had the teen just surrendered.

According to authorities, Greene's game warden shot and killed Cochran. Cochran's girlfriend was also in the car.

Earlier in the day, an alert went out about an endangered, missing juvenile -- Cochran's girlfriend. Police believed she might have been abducted by the teen and thought he might be armed.

At the Woodridge Subdivision, the game warden positioned himself to remove the girl safely from the car. Authorities say that's when Cochran stepped on the gas, hitting the game warden and throwing him high in the air. The game warden then made the split-second decision to fire at the car, hitting Cochran.

Cochran died at the scene. His body has been taken to the medical examiner's office in Richmond.

The game warden was treated and released at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

State police are investigating the incident. The game warden is on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in cases such as this.

Cochran's girlfriend was taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay.