Police fire at man on balcony

Published 12:22 am Saturday, March 20, 2010

Suffolk police continue to investigate a shooting incident in which two officers fired their service weapons at an armed man.

Suffolk emergency dispatch received a call at around 3 p.m. Friday of a “fight in progress” in the 200 block of Central Avenue. According to city spokeswoman Debbie George, officers arrived on the scene and found a large disturbance. The officers heard a shot and saw a man, armed with a shotgun, on the upstairs porch of a residence at 213 ½ Central Ave.

The officers ordered the man to put down his weapon. The man originally began to comply, but then raised the shotgun up, George said. Two officers fired their service weapons at the man, striking him once in the arm.

Police forced entry into the man’s residence to get him medical attention, and he was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. He underwent surgery and was in critical condition Friday night, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Though police have not identified the subject, neighbors said he is Ted Hargrove, age 49.

Central Avenue is lined with two-story homes with large porches. Most of the neighbors like to sit outside on their porch on nice days, neighbor Kay Wilson Cearney said. The small yards are mostly well kept, and several children roamed the neighborhood in the aftermath of Friday’s incident.

According to witness Daniel Hoffman, who lives down the street, the victim was on the second floor of his residence when a group of teenagers began fighting in front of his house. The victim came out onto his second-floor balcony and fired a shot into the air to get the teens away from his yard, Hoffman said.

“That man was just trying to stop those kids from fighting,” witness Sharon Warren said.

Cearney was in her house nearby with her four children and one grandchild when she heard the shots.

“He didn’t bother nobody,” Cearney said of Hargrove. She said he coached local young people in football through the Inner-City Athletic Association.

None of the responding officers was injured. The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, George said in a press release.

“Placing an officer involved in a shooting on administrative leave is standard in most departments,” George said.

The investigation is ongoing, and further details will be released as they are available, George said. No charges have been filed against the subject.

The last officer-involved shooting in Suffolk occurred about 15 years ago, George said, and involved an accidental discharge of an officer’s weapon.