Ferguson likely to review shooting

Published 10:55 pm Friday, January 21, 2011

Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips Ferguson says he does not see a reason to recuse his office from reviewing a shooting that occurred during a burglary last week — even though one of the involved people is a former Suffolk police officer and the husband of Suffolk’s deputy treasurer.

City spokeswoman Debbie George said Friday the case may be headed for a review by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.

“I think a case with the complications that this has, there is a good chance that it could be reviewed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney prior to any charges being placed,” George said.

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The incident happened just before 3 a.m. on Jan. 13. Charles A. Duck, a retired Suffolk police officer who is married to chief deputy treasurer Sylvia S. Duck, told police he was awakened by the sound of his dog barking at his Whitemarsh Road home.

He told police he looked outside and saw a man attempting to load a dog transport crate from his yard into the back of a pickup truck, according to George. Duck retrieved a gun and yelled at the man through the window to move to the front of the truck. When the intruder jumped into his truck through the passenger door and tried to make a getaway, Duck fired several shots at the vehicle.

Shortly thereafter, Quamaine Lassiter, 20, arrived at Sentara Obici Hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. He said he was shot by someone passing him in a vehicle as he walked along Lake Kennedy Drive. According to George, the bullet had lodged under Lassiter’s scalp but did not penetrate his skull. He was later released from the hospital.

Police found a possible suspect vehicle with bullet holes in it on Oak Street, she added.

No charges have yet been filed in the incident.

Ferguson said his office would conduct a thorough investigation when it receives all the information from the police department.

“I’m sure they have additional investigative work they’re doing,” he said.

When asked if his office would recuse itself because of Duck’s association with a staff member in another constitutional office, Ferguson said his office “will treat this case no different than we would treat any other case.”

“I don’t think that has anything to do with anything,” Ferguson said of Duck’s marriage to a treasurer’s office employee. “If it does come to us, the decision we make will be based on the facts of the case.”