Commonwealth’s Attorney gets shooting case

Published 9:11 pm Monday, March 28, 2016

Three months after the police-involved shooting death of a 28-year-old Suffolk man, the Suffolk Police Department investigation of the incident has been turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for review.

Police refused to share the findings of their internal investigation of the death of Corey Jason Achstein, who was shot by an officer responding to reports of an armed man chasing three juveniles down Causey Avenue with a gun on Dec. 28.

City spokesman Tim Kelley said at the time of the incident that police responded to the call about 5:15 p.m.

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The neighbor who called police, Candy Holland, said she saw Achstein walking in the middle of the street, repeatedly threatening and yelling profanities at three teenagers walking ahead of him.

“He was beyond angry, totally out of control,” Holland said the day after the shooting. She called police after she heard him shout several threats, including “Do you want a piece of me?” and “I’m going to kill you,” directed at the teenagers several times.

Officers James Babor and Cheryl Abrigo spotted Achstein holding a firearm near the intersection of Causey and Virginia avenues and ordered him to drop to the ground, according to a press release from the week of the incident. Babor fired his weapon because of “the suspect’s actions and concern for safety,” according to the press release.

Achstein, of the 200 block of Causey Avenue, died at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital later that evening.

A weapon recovered near Achstein’s body turned out to be a “realistic style pneumatic BB gun,” according to the press release.

The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso, said Donna Price, the office administrator at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Norfolk. The manner of death is classified as homicide. However, that means only that “he was shot by another person,” Price said. It does not mean the shooter will ultimately face a criminal charge.

WAVY-TV reported in February that the autopsy report, which it obtained from the family, shows that Achstein was shot in the back. The family also said it has sources who say Achstein was sitting on the ground when he was shot and that multiple other details and stories from the police are in conflict.