Officer Charged After He's Seen Armed on Roof by Lee Statue in Richmond

robert e lee monument richmond va
Dustin Klein/Alexis Armand

An airport police officer has been charged with trespassing after witnesses spotted him on a roof with a handgun overlooking the Robert E. Lee memorial in downtown Richmond.

Police say they received a call Saturday at about 6:30 a.m. to investigate a report of an armed individual on the roof of unoccupied building overlooking the memorial on the city's famed Monument Avenue.

About an hour later, as police were preparing the enter the building, an armed man was spotted outside the building and taken into custody.

Police say 38-year-old Riley O'Shaughnessey of Richmond is an officer with the police department at Richmond International Airport outside the city.

The trespassing charge is a misdemeanor. No weapons charges were filed because he was carrying the gun lawfully, police said.

The Lee statue has been a rallying point for protesters and the scene of sometimes violent clashes. State plans to remove the statue are on hold because of an injunction barring removal while legal efforts to preserve the statue are underway.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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