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Shooting of motorcyclist disputed. Passenger denies high-speed police chase

A motorcycle passenger disputed police accounts of how his friend was fatally shot after officers stopped them on a Powhatan County road early Sunday morning.

Gary A. Groves and Marshall Johnston, both 21, were pulled over by two Powhatan patrol cars shortly after midnight at Mill and Jude Ferry roads. Groves was shot to death by an officer during the incident.

Johnston, who was sitting on the bike behind Groves at the time, said yesterday his friend was shot in the face and denied accounts of a high-speed chase before the shooting.

Family members say police told them the shooting was accidental, but the victim's father, Terry Groves, said he is unconvinced.

A state police spokeswoman said Sunday that deputies told authorities Gary Groves was going about 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, and that during a chase Groves' speed reached 80 mph.

Witnesses told state police that a deputy shot Groves while attempting an arrest.

State police, called in by Sheriff Lynn Woodcock to investigate the incident, declined yesterday to give further details, including where on his body Groves was shot.

Powhatan Commonwealth's Attorney Robert B. Beasley Jr. said, "I have been briefed [by the sheriff's office], and they have told me what their initial investigation reveals. But I have not received a briefing from the state police as of yet. And I really don't want to comment on it all until I've reviewed the results of their investigation."

State police declined to release additional information about how the shooting occurred until they more thoroughly investigate the matter. A spokeswoman, however, said Groves was driving on a suspended license for a prior drinking-and-driving conviction.

According to initial accounts, witnesses told police that a deputy - whose name has not been released - shot Groves while attempting to arrest him after the chase ended. But what happened between the time Groves was stopped and shot remains in question.

Johnston said he and Groves were riding on U.S. 60 going about 60 mph when they saw a police car coming up from behind. Johnston said he thought the police car was following the car in front of them.

He said the officer followed the motorcycle to Red Lane, where another patrol car began to follow the pair. Johnston said he realized the police cars were pursuing them when the car in front of them pulled over and the officers didn't. When the motorcycle reached Mill Road, Johnston said he tapped Groves to notify him of the police cars.

Johnston said he believed they were going to stop once Groves realized the police were following them. But, Johnston said, that area of Mill Road was a back road with no shoulder or painted lines.

"We could either stop in the middle of the street or pull into someone's driveway," he said.

Johnston said Groves continued to the intersection of Jude Ferry and Mill roads, where he stopped the motorcycle.

Before stopping, Johnston said, the first patrol car pulled in front of the motorcycle causing the front tire of the motorcycle to tap the fender of the patrol car. One cruiser ended up in front of the motorcycle and the other pulled in on the right side of the bike.

He said Groves took his feet off the pedals and steadied the bike with both hands on the handlebars.

Then, Johnston said, he heard a shot and the bike fell to the left, knocking both riders to the ground.

"I don't believe it was an accident," said Johnston. " . . . Gary had his hands on the handlebars, the officer had no reason to pull his gun."

"We showed no weapons, never yelled, we did nothing."

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what about the video from police cars or is the some small town deal that hasnt heard of video yet.

1 Posts
what about the video from police cars or is the some small town deal that hasnt heard of video yet.
I know this is odd to receive a reply in 2020 to something that happened in 2001, but I'm just now seeing this. Gary is my brother. There was no video because the Deputy said it malfunctioned that night. There were 2 patrol cars and neither one worked? I'm calling BS on this one. This was a complete cover up from day one! There is so much more to this story than people realize. Unfortunately, we were not successful in getting justice for my brother. However, in light of all the police brutality that has happened this past week, I've decided to write everything down and send it to every reporter I know and to every politician in Richmond, VA and the Governor of VA. It's time that the police be held accountable for their actions. They should not be protected and be above the law.

Another fact....the cops told the paramedics that my brother took the gun from the cop and shot himself in the head. Yes, he was shot right between his eyes with a Glock that had a laser on it! How is that deemed an accident? Thankfully, the doctors took one look at him and knew that this was incorrect information.

Another fact...Randy Reynolds, the cop that shot and killed my brother, thought my brother was a man that was sleeping with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Accident? Sounds like revenge to me!

So much more to this much more!
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