BIGSTOCK POLICE LIGHTS SHERIFF

A 44-year-old Culpeper man was shot and killed by a Culpeper County Sheriff's Office deputy in the 12000 block of Horseshoe Drive after he discharged a firearm, Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Brent Coffey says. At the sheriff's office's request, state police are investigating the death of Donald Francis Hairston. 

At about 9:40 a.m. Feb. 25, the sheriff's office conducted a welfare check on Hairston, who Coffey says was "in an already agitated state" when deputies arrived. 

"Within minutes of the deputies' arrival, Hairston ran indoors and barricaded himself inside the residence. Despite the deputies' attempts to communicate with Hairston in an effort to de-escalate the situation, Hairston exited the residence armed with a gun," Coffey stated in a news release. "He discharged the firearm and then pointed the firearm at the deputies. A deputy fired and struck Hairston, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene."

Hairston's body will be transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner for examination and autopsy. No deputies or other persons were injured during the incident and the matter is an ongoing investigation.

Horseshoe Drive intersects with Brock Lane, where 62-year-old Ellis A. Frye Jr. was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in November. In that incident, state police said Frye was sitting on the porch with a firearm when deputies arrived in response to a domestic call. 

Deputies proceeded to negotiate with Frye for about 30 minutes in efforts to de-escalate the situation, according to a previous news release. During the negotiations, the release states that Frye “entered and exited the residence multiple times and produced additional firearms.” Frye was still armed when the release states he “advanced in the direction of law enforcement personnel” and “a deputy fired and the man was struck.”

Coffey deferred inquires into that investigation to the Culpeper Commonwealth's Attorney Office, and the office declined to comment on Friday afternoon. 

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(5) comments

ericmckinleyking

Other than the county vs. city departments, what is it exactly that distinguishes this murder (and the one in November) from the "all's well that ends well" outcome that occurred yesterday afternoon where the police officers were being praised for the expert use of their de-escalation training in safely disarming another man who had barricaded himself with a weapon after reportedly chiding and daring the officers to fatally injure him? How did they manage that great feat? Were Mr. Hairston and Mr. Frye perhaps just not daring them enough? Is that the new reverse psychology standard we have to learn keep police from drawing and firing their weapons? Or is there something else we might be missing here? Because I think we all need to know and understand what the difference really is.

Wayne S.

So what exactly is your point in mentioning the previous shooting? Was this really necessary. One has nothing to do with the other.

Hawkeye10

Same vicinity, same department, and within a 4 month time-span would be my guess...

Toby Beaman

Precisely. This department is in severe need of investigation. They can't be allowed to blow peoples' heads off, regardless whether the citizen is holding a gun. The fact that the man in this most recent incident discharged a firearm and pointed it at the officers speaks to his agitated state and, most likely, a fragile mental state. It demonstrates that he needed aid from qualified resources, not simply armed deputies. Imagine if those officers, upon discovering the man's agitated state and his retreat into his home, had simply pulled back and called for assistance. It's difficult to believe that anyone had to be shot that day. It's necessarily the fault of the officers (unless we find that there's a pattern among a couple of them) - it's department and county leadership who is responsible for training their deputies and instructing them on diffusing difficult situations.

Toby Beaman

Precisely. This department is in severe need of investigation. They can't be allowed to blow peoples' heads off, regardless whether the citizen is holding a gun. The fact that the man in this most recent incident discharged a firearm and pointed it at the officers speaks to his agitated state and, most likely, a fragile mental state (which the officers observed upon arrival). It demonstrates that he needed aid from qualified resources, not simply armed deputies. Imagine if those officers, upon discovering the man's agitated state and his retreat into his home, had simply pulled back and called for assistance. It's difficult to believe that anyone had to be shot that day. It's not necessarily the fault of the officers (unless we find that there's a pattern among a couple of them) - it's department and county leadership who is responsible for training their deputies and instructing them on diffusing difficult situations.

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