Officers still on leave following shooting

Published 10:09 am Saturday, January 2, 2010

FRANKLIN—Three city police officers remain on administrative leave following the fatal shooting of a Franklin man last month.

The officers, who have not been identified, have been on paid administrative leave since the Dec. 20 shooting of 37-year-old Donald A. Whitley Jr. at his home on Fairview Drive during an armed confrontation.

Franklin police were called to Whitley’s home following a domestic dispute, according to police spokesman Tim Whitt. When police arrived, Whitley refused to come outside and fired several gunshots, Whitt said. After several hours, Whitley came out of the house and pointed two revolvers at police, at which point officers fired, Whitt said.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting, which is normal procedure in a police-involved shooting. The three Franklin officers are off duty with pay until that investigation is over, Whitt said.

According to State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller, the agency will turn its findings from the investigation over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, who will make a final determination on whether charges are appropriate.

Whitt said he has spoken with the officers who are currently on leave.

“They seem to be doing well,” he said Wednesday. He also added that the police department makes counseling services available for officers in these types of situations, if they’re needed.

“We do appreciate the community’s support during this difficult time,” Whitt said.