Prosecutor Clears Cops in Shooting of Man Brandishing BB Gun

Police say a 15-year-old girl who had run away from home was found in the man's car.

A Virginia prosecutor says police officers were justified in shooting a man who brandished a BB gun after calling 911 to report his own vehicle to police. 

Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said the two Manassas officers who shot 18-year-old Luis Torres-Molina of Woodbridge reasonably feared for their safety. 

Police said Tuesday that Torres-Molina has been charged with attempted malicious wounding of a police officer and felony eluding. He's being held at the county jail after recovering from his injuries. 

The shooting occurred Friday near a Manassas park. Police say Torres-Molina called 911 to report someone firing shots from a black SUV. 

According to police, Torres-Molina actually was describing his own vehicle and initiated a chase after being spotted, hitting a cruiser. 

Police say the officers shot Torres-Molina after he brandished a weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun. 

A 15-year-old girl who was inside the SUV was not injured. Police later determined the was a runaway from the Woodbridge area and reunited her with her family. 

Police have not said why the girl was with the unidentified suspect or why he contacted 911. 

The shooting was jointly investigated by Manassas City and Prince William County police. Manassas police spokesman Charles Sharp said the two officers who fired the shots are white. Prince William Police spokesman Jonathan Perok said race was not a factor in the shooting.

A call to an attorney listed in court records for Torres-Molina was not returned Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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