PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — BREAKING UPDATE: WAVY News 10 just confirmed Portsmouth Police Officer Stephen Rankin was indicted on first degree murder in the death of 18-year-old William Chapman, according to court paperwork. He was also charged with use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The court paperwork says the grand jury found that Rankin did “willfully, deliberately and with premeditation kill and murder William Lester Chapman II.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Portsmouth Stephanie N. Morales will make a statement this afternoon at 5 p.m. regarding the officer-involved shooting.
“The officer is a man first and has broken the rules of the law and killed again and he should be responsible for being so careless and just plain heartless…I am so happy that I feel sick. My son can now be at peace. Thank you Lord,” – Sallie Chapman, William Chapman’s mother.
In April, 18-year-old Chapman was suspected of having shoplifted from the Wal-Mart on Frederick Boulevard. Security then alerted police of an alleged shoplifter leaving the store. Chapman, who was walking across the store parking lot, was approached by a Portsmouth officer, said Virginia State Police.
Multiple witnesses told police the man and the officer started to struggle. At some point during the altercation, VSP said the officer shot Chapman. The officer immediately called for medical rescue, but Chapman died at the scene.
Chapman’s remains were taken to the office of the Medical Examiner in Norfolk who ruled the death a homicide. According to the Medical Examiner, Chapman was shot in the face and in the chest. However, they would not comment on how many times he was shot.
After months of investigating, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales announced the investigation was completed Aug. 21 and that she would seek an indictment before the next grand jury.