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COVER- 60+ shots: Authorities duck as Colby Eppard's parents seek answers

Published February 25, 2010 in issue 0908 of the Hook
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Tracy Foster knows there are people who believe Colby Eppard got what he deserved. Her response: "If it was their kid, how would they feel?"
These are the approximate numbers Tracy Foster knows about the New Year's Day death of her son, Colby Eppard, after he stole a cop car and led police on a three-county chase: at least 64 holes in the car and 22 bullet holes in his body (plus buckshot).

It was hard for her to count the holes in the car because of all the broken glass, and she couldn't bear to count the holes in her son, who had a closed-casket funeral, but it was one in the head, three in the neck, and two in the chest that killed him-- at least that's what the funeral director reportedly told Colby's stepfather, Todd Foster.

The Fosters don't know exactly how many times Colby was shot because police have not released those numbers. Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford won't either, but her eight-page report detailing her decision not to prosecute the police officers who fired on Eppard provides more numbers: 14 law enforcement vehicles present at the final showdown on Route 20 near Carter's Bridge, with seven officers from three agencies discharging their weapons.

Lunsford says the number of times Eppard was hit, and the number of shots fired by law enforcement were "not relevant" to her decision.

"I put everything in the letter, and I'm not saying anything above that," says Lunsford. "I'm not going to answer any more questions."

"The number of shots fired by the suspect and other parties involved in this incident will not be released publicly as the criminal investigation is still open," writes Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller in an email.

Still open? The suspect is dead, and the officers have been cleared of criminal charges. Yet the Virginia State Police, Albemarle County Police, and Greene County Sheriff's Office, the three agencies involved, have declined to release the dashcam videos, as internal investigations are ongoing.

For Tracy Foster, questions linger about how her son died-- especially after she saw the bullet-sprayed car-- questions heightened by the authorities' refusal to release dashcam videos or numbers about the firepower that killed him, or to respond to queries about discrepancies in a shooting deemed justifiable. 

Official account

Stanardsville resident Colby Wade Eppard was 18 years old when 2010 began. He was very close to his mother's family in Greene County and Free Union, says his mother, and had a good relationship with his great aunt, Shirley Naylor-- but his aunt also asked him not to take her 1996 green Ford Ranger pickup without permission.

So when he disappeared with the truck on New Year's Day, Naylor called the police.

Early the afternoon of Friday, January 1, there's a report of a hit-and-run involving the pickup and a Daewoo Nubira, according to a Virginia State Police release. When Greene County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Sellari spots the pickup on Snow Mountain Road, Eppard turns the truck around, and in the course of speeding away, loses control and runs off the road. The teen takes off into the woods.

Deputy Sellari locks his still-running patrol car and follows Eppard into the forest, according to the release. The teen eludes Sellari, returns to the crash scene, and absconds with the still-running patrol car after smashing out the driver's window with a rock. At 12:48pm, Sellari reports his vehicle stolen.

Eppard is next spotted in Free Union at Maupin Brothers store, putting gas in the patrol car.

"It's the craziest thing," he tells farmer Connie Hicks at the filling station. "I was in my aunt's truck, and I swerved to miss a puppy, and I wrecked, and this cop comes out of nowhere, and now I'm on the run."

Hicks tells the Hook that she spotted beer, chewing tobacco, and a shotgun on the vehicle's front seat as she urged him to stop his flight.

"I'm a good old boy, and now I'm stalking them," Hicks says Eppard told her. "And he was laughing and said, 'The stupid fat bastards. I've got their shotgun and their own damn cop car.'"

In what seems like dialogue from the Grand Theft Auto video game, Eppard taunts his pursuers on police radio.

"You underestimated a true hunter," he says in a recording that NBC29 picks up on a scanner. "I stalk my f***ing prey; I stalk them."

More ominously, he seems to dare his pursuers to take him down. "That is," he says," if y'all try to kill me, because that's the only way I'm giving this f***ing car back."

About an hour after Greene's Sellari reports the auto theft, Albemarle police Officer David Hutchinson spots the purloined patrol car near Charlottesville on Georgetown Road.

Eppard allegedly gets on the Bypass, switches on the flashing lights, and dodges a "Stinger" tire-deflation device. Headed south on U.S. 29, Hutchinson loses sight of Eppard close to the Nelson County line, according to Lunsford's analysis.

In Nelson, the teen turns onto Route 6 and heads east. Westbound Albemarle Sergeant Tim Seitz reports that Eppard swerves toward him in an attempted head-on collision. Seitz turns around and sees Eppard stopped at the intersection of Green Creek Road.

"It appeared that Eppard had been waiting for Seitz to catch up with him," writes Lunsford, "and Eppard pulled out as Seitz approached, again traveling east on Route 6."

As scanner-equipped citizens tuned in to the loud-mouthed Eppard, they could hear a modern-day Smokey and the Bandit situation playing out-- though few were laughing.

Virginia State Police Officer Tom Skehan says that Eppard also swerved at his marked car, and Skehan and a Town of Scottsville officer, who was waiting on Route 6, both report that Eppard slowed and pointed a shotgun out the window.

According to the report, by the time Eppard reaches Route 20, he has three police cars trailing him, and a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries officer joins the light-flashing, siren-blaring convoy. At this point, police are advised that Eppard not only has brandished the shotgun but threatened to use it-- and has stated, according to the prosecutor's report,  he would not be taken alive.

Although out of his jurisdiction, Greene Sheriff's Major Randy Snead joins the hunt for his department's stolen vehicle on Route 20 at Keene, where Albemarle Officer Caleb Marden has set up a Stinger.

Here's where some of the controversy appears. Marden and another Albemarle officer, Mike Fields, according to the report, are fired upon by the northbound Eppard, who "placed the shotgun out the driver window and across the windshield of the stolen patrol vehicle and fired at Marden and Fields."

In at least one of the Terminator movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character fires a shotgun without benefit of his muscular shoulder. But could Colby Eppard have fired while driving? More crucially, how could he have kept a 12-gauge shotgun in his hands after reaching so far forward and firing such a strongly-kicking weapon?

"It would surprise me if he hadn't lost the gun with the recoil taking it out of his hands," says Steve Clark, owner of Warrenton-based gun shop Clark Brothers. Though having never tried it, Clark says he couldn't rule out such a "Hollywood" stunt.

But a former Greene County sheriff's deputy says he can. 

"That's just crazy," says Steven W. Shifflett of Charlottesville. "I don't think the strongest man in the world could hold on to a shotgun and stick it across the hood with one hand."

Whatever happened, Eppard loses two tires to the Stinger at Keene. Meanwhile, Greene officer Snead, in an unmarked car with lights and siren on, pulls out in front of Eppard to warn oncoming traffic. In the prosecutor's report, Snead says he can see in his rearview mirror that Eppard has the shotgun still protruding from the stolen car.

Eppard passes both Snead and a tractor trailer on two-lane Route 20, but waiting at Harris Creek Road is Albemarle Officer Marcus Baggett with another Stinger. This time, the Stinger rips into all four tires, according to Baggett, who joins the pursuit with another officer.

As the tires disintegrate, Eppard barely avoids a head-on collision with a southbound truck, loses control of the stolen cruiser and ends up in a ditch past Carter's Bridge, with the car facing north.

Coming from the north on Route 20 is Albemarle Police Officer Andy Gluba. No stranger to firearms incidents, Gluba once shot and killed a neighbor's dog and then won dismissal of the case against him over an alleged failure to get apprised of his Miranda rights. His local stature rebounded somewhat in 2004 when his own K-9 partner, Ingo, a German shepherd, was killed in the line of duty-- in an incident that rendered the convicted triggerman, Robert Lee Cooke, paralyzed from what was seen as a justified Gluba bullet.

According to Lunsford, by the time Eppard came to a halt, 14 police vehicles were in vicinity of Carter's Bridge. Gluba and a state trooper were north of the immobile stolen car, and 12 were to the south.

Eppard, the report claims, immediately begins firing from inside the vehicle at the officers, who are yelling at him to put down his weapon. That, according to the report, is when police fire for the first time.

After a barrage of law enforcement bullets, Eppard allegedly gets out of the car in a "combat ready" stance and begins firing at the officers to the south behind Snead's car. Seven of the officers return fire, and Eppard falls to the pavement atop his shotgun, which is empty. He is found with no pulse at 2:30pm.

Inside the stolen patrol car are several empty 12-gauge ammunition boxes and spent 12-gauge shells, according to the report, which mentions additional expended ammunition recovered outside the car.

An 'imminent threat'

On February 9, Lunsford releases her findings, which detail evidence that Eppard did fire the stolen shotgun.

Gluba's car positioned to the north of Eppard "had a projectile strike in the windshield," and Snead's unmarked car had "numerous holes in the front windshield, hood, front bumper, and roof."

Officers had "no choice but to return fire" when Eppard continued to fire, determines Lunsford. "Eppard's actions presented an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to law enforcement," she writes.

"It is not legally relevant to this analysis to know which officer or officers fired fatal shots because each law enforcement officer present on the scene was in the same position with regard to Eppard," says the commonwealth's attorney. "The number of officers who fired their weapons or the number of shots fired by law enforcement is also not relevant to this inquiry."

Tracy Foster is puzzled. If the case is that cut and dried, why can't she find out from authorities how many times her son was shot? 

"Why," she wonders, "is that irrelevant?"

Unanswered questions 

Tracy Foster knew her son was in trouble almost as soon as he took her aunt's car. "She called and told me they'd called the police," she recounts. "They called back and said he'd wrecked the truck."

She repeatedly attempted to reach her son by cellphone. From a friend with a police scanner, she knew Colby had taken the police car. She and her husband, Todd, left their home at Lake Monticello and traveled toward Charlottesville on Route 53. "We were stopped at 20 south," she says.

Seeing the ambulances heading south, she waited two hours to find out what happened to her son.

"A detective talked to me," she says. "He said he didn't think it was good."

The couple never did get the bad news from police; they would learn of the young man's fate from a friend in Greene.

Tracy Foster says she first heard from police five days later, when Special Agent Dino Cappuzzo from the Virginia State Police, which investigated the case, came to her mother's house.

"The detective said they'd already determined the situation was going to turn out bad," says Foster, incredulous that for the duration of Colby's time on the police radio-- trash talking, scolding, and threatening law enforcement-- there was a strange silence in the other direction.

"They never talked to him," says Foster. "He was radio-accessible, and they decided they didn't want to talk to him, that it was going to turn out bad. Why did they decide not to negotiate with him, to find out what was going on in his mind?"

Foster says she asked Special Agent Cappuzzo when police stopped firing and was told, "'When the threat was eliminated.' His gun had no bullets," she says. "When did they determine the threat was eliminated? Did they have to shoot 60 times?"

Cappuzzo did not return a reporter's phone call.

Combat ready?

In a conference room at the Hook, Tracy Foster examines photos of the bullet-ridden Greene Sheriff's car her son was driving, photos she snapped February 11 in Richmond. (Foster says a sympathetic citizen gave her a tip that the car was about to be scrapped.)

She points to a photo of the interior of the driver's side door, which has no bullet holes. "When he exited," she asks, "nothing ricocheted and hit the side of the car?"

The bereaved couple looks at a photo of the stolen police car that shows six closely-focused holes in the windshield on the driver's side.

"There's a target," says Todd Foster. "You think he would be able to exit that car?"

Another photo shows multiple bullet holes in the headrest and seat, and another shows what appears to be blood at the bottom of the door jamb. It all contributes, they say, to their disbelief that their son could have assumed a combat position--- or even gotten out of the car.

"One in the head, three in the neck, two in the chest," repeats Todd Foster, looking at the bullet hole pattern in the seat. "This boy was shot so many times when he was in the car," says Todd. "For him to get out in a combat stance, he had to be a superhero."

Tracy and Todd Foster acknowledge that the dashcam videos from the 14 police cars could tell a different story of what happened in broad daylight on New Year's afternoon. "If they had released them," says Todd, "maybe we wouldn't be here."

The three jurisdictions have denied two Freedom of Information Act requests by the Hook for a case in which the suspect is dead and the prosecutor has announced she's not filing charges.

Authorities admit that at least eight dashcams were operating during the incident, and Colby's mom says she's puzzled by a mention of one of them in Lunsford's report: "Video from the stolen patrol vehicle shows Eppard exit the vehicle and retrieve a shotgun and several boxes of ammunition from the trunk," says the report.

"If the camcorder points straight at the front of the car, I don't understand how a video shows him exiting the car or going to the trunk," she says. "If it shows that, why not show it and get it out in the open?"

She needs to reconcile the 22 bullets in Colby's body and the 60-plus bullets in the car with another disturbing thought: "I think they lost control," she says softly.

"It's very important how many times a boy got shot," says her husband, as he shuffles through the pile of photos. "I don't know any parent who wouldn't look at this and not ask questions," he says.

Bike accident

Photos of Colby Eppard show a baseball-capped youth with a mustache and soul patch. He loved hunting, and in October killed a bear with a bow and arrow, says his mother. In November, he bagged a trophy deer. "Hunting was his life," says his stepfather.

But his life took an unfortunate turn when he was seven years old. Riding his bicycle near home in Stanardsville, he was hit by a truck that threw him 30 feet, says his mother. The front and back of his brain were bruised, a diagnosis that wasn't made until he was 13 at Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center, she says.

Colby had no impulse control, says his mother. ‘He doesn't think before he talks," says Tracy Foster. "He's not like a normal person. He acts before he thinks."

Before the diagnosis, she was told Colby was ADHD. Afterward, he spent several years at the Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents, which specializes in brain injury.

"He was the type of kid who'd take up for other kids people would pick on," says Tracy. "He had that type of heart and would take up for the disadvantaged."

She recounts a distraught Colby calling her because he could no longer eat with the other children. Because he had lost weight, he was given double portions of food, and he got in trouble for giving them to an obese girl who said she was hungry.

Colby got into more serious trouble, most recently July 10, for stealing and wrecking two all-terrain vehicles.

"He was caught, and took the blame for his friends," says Tracy, who adds that the owner of the ATVs had been reimbursed. "He was out on bail and was supposed to go to court January 19."

Court records show Eppard faced charges of grand larceny, entering a building with intent to commit larceny, assault and battery, and other felonies, as well as purchasing alcohol as a minor.

"He was hard-headed and had his stubborn ways," says Tracy. "He didn't like ‘no.'"

His parents don't believe that Colby intended "suicide by cop" on the day he died.

"I think it started out joyriding," says Todd Foster. "He cut on the sirens, he was on the radio talking sh*t. I can guarantee he loved the attention."

He didn't have a driver's license. "He had it in his head that he was going back to jail for 19 years," says his mother.

That's what he told Connie Hicks at their encounter at the Free Union country store when she tried to get him out of the car. "He said, ‘No, no, no— I can't let them catch me because I have 19 years over my head,'" said Hicks.

"I think he got to the point he couldn't go back," says Tracy Foster.

Other victims

Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford's report exonerating the seven police officers who fired at Colby Eppard was greeted with relief by law enforcement.

"We were glad the report is done and the officers' actions were vindicated," says Greene Sheriff Scott Haas. "Police officers by their very nature are given toward saving lives. They jump in the water or run into burning buildings."

And there are emotional repercussions for officers who fire in the line of duty.

"No officer wants to take a life," says Haas. "I know of no police officer who's ever used deadly force who's not had it stay with him."

To critics who suggest the amount of force and the alleged 20-plus bullets in Eppard's body could have been excessive, Haas replies, "He continued to engage."

What's not explained is why Haas' officer from Greene County was engaged in Albemarle. Virginia law limits cross-jurisdictional activity to hot pursuits, but in this case, according to the Lunsford report, Greene officer Snead was searching for the stolen vehicle in North Garden and got involved after he was "advised by phone that Eppard had turned onto Route 6."

Hook legal expert David Heilberg cites Virginia's 300-yard to one-mile grace period when officers in pursuit cross a boundary out of their jurisdiction. Snead was more than 20 miles beyond the Greene border when he joined the chase.

"Hot pursuit knows no limit if it's a dangerous situation," says Heilberg. But to join in a chase an hour later is a different matter. "I'm not sure why that officer was there," he says.

"We're in the middle of an internal investigation to make sure policies are followed," says Greene Sheriff Haas, who adds that Snead was legitimately in the area to recover the car..

As for the Fosters' allegation that Eppard was shot 22 times, none of the involved agencies would confirm the count.

"I don't know why it would make a difference if it was one time or a dozen," says Virginia State Police Captain Paul Kvasnicka. The boss of the state trooper who fired on Eppard, Kvasnicka says he can't verify the number of shots that struck Eppard because it's Lunsford's decision. "I really couldn't comment on what would be excessive."

Albemarle Police Chief John Miller has had officers involved in several incidents in which a suspect has been fatally shot, including pitchfork wielding William Wingfield Jr., who was shot in January 2001, and the 1997 death at Squire Hill Apartments of unarmed Frederick Gray, whose family was awarded $4.5 million in a 2006 civil suit. He did not return a reporter's phone calls.

Albemarle Police spokesman Lieutenant Todd Hopwood notes that the criminal and internal investigations are not complete, and that Miller wouldn't consider releasing that information until all investigations are complete.

Albemarle Police, Greene County Sheriff's Office, and the Virginia State Police all cite exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act for not releasing the dashcam videos of the police cars involved in the shooting.

"The video is part of our criminal investigation file," says state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller. "The contents of the investigative file are evidence that we don't turn over and make public. It's our policy. That's our standard procedure."

As for any other questions about the shooting, says Geller, "We defer to the Commonwealth's Attorney on this matter and feel that her letter was quite self-explanatory and clear."

At this point, the Fosters-- who learned about Lunsford's report only when the media started calling-- have grown accustomed to being the left off the official contact list. But that doesn't mean they'll stop pressing for answers.

"Maybe they don't owe you a phone call," says Todd Foster. "I don't know. I don't know a kid who's been shot before."

Colby Eppard taunted police on the radio for two hours in the Greene Sheriff's patrol car he stole.

Todd and Tracy Foster believe there are some discrepancies between the story photos  tell of the car Colby died in and the official version.

The bullet holes in the windshield make Colby Eppard's parents believe he was shot in the car, and they wonder how he would have been able to exit the vehicle.

The driver's seat of stolen car Colby Eppard was in has multiple bullet holes-- and blood. "Do you think he got out in the combat position?" asks his stepfather, Todd Foster.

A large hole in the stolen cruiser attests to heavy-duty firepower.

Blood on the seat and door jamb suggest Colby Eppard was wounded before he allegedly exited the vehicle to further threaten police.

Interior windshield view.

The rear window of the stolen car was blasted away.

Greene County Sheriff's Major Randall Snead was present at the fatal shootout in Albemarle County.

"I said, ‘Get yourself up out of this car right now," says Free Union farmer Connie Hicks, who found Eppard buying gas at Maupin Brothers Store in Free Union. "I held on to him as long as I could, but he took off, and I lost my grip."



too bad2/24/2010 10:56:44 PM

The number of bullets fired is irrelevant.Any that were fired after he died were on no consequence and any before he died were needed to solve the problem.

I am sorry that the family lost their son this way, but the police are not the bad guys in this deal. They were protecting ME and he could have killed MY family driving like he did.

If they had hit him once right betwen the eyes would it make anyone feel any better?

Tony's two cents2/25/2010 12:53:42 AM

I am not sure what the problem is with the concern over the amount of lead thrown at him. I mean is a sixty bullet dead deader than a one bullet dead ? It's a shame this family didn't work harder to help him understand the concept of "NO" It's not the Police's fault they failed ! See I been following this story on 29 for a while now, and this is the first time I seen this much information about that day. Honestly I hope they did preempt the shootout and did it when he was still in the car, before he got out and successfully killed a officer or any other innocent people that day.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 8:23:12 AM

October 2006 Polk County, Florida

A Florida gunman was shot at 110 times and hit 68 times....

"That's all the bullets we had, or we would have shot him more," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters.

Not surprised2/25/2010 10:13:37 AM

You are trained to "shoot until threat is neutralized" obviously the kid had emptied a couple boxes of shells already, was known to have stolen truck #1 with weapons on her person, had made the statement he was not going to be taken alive. Had fired upon officers repeatedly before the vehicle came to a stop...then got out and began firing again at any and all officers...

You fire until your target stops moving, I doubt anyone else in the same situation would do any differently when confronted with the above situation.

Not surprised2/25/2010 10:14:23 AM

EDIT="his person"

Guardian2/25/2010 10:21:15 AM

What should bother people, is that the photographic evidence does not appearing to corroborate the police testimony as to what really happened at the scene. How could the Greene County vehicle be scrapped if there was really an investigation currently being conducted. I wonder how long it takes for them to scrap the reported 8 dash cam videos, if they haven't already.

TJ2/25/2010 10:23:20 AM

Whether you agree, or disagree, with the way this was handled- one fact stands out-this is an excellent piece of reporting, on every journalistic scale, rarely matched, even in national papers, with far more resources. Thank you Lisa for a job well done.

Guardian2/25/2010 10:53:06 AM

The Hook deserves the credit for keeping this case in the open, too many so called news agencies seem to be afraid of being critical of those in positions of authority, I'm glad not all are so easily intimidated, and that at least a few are still capable of asking the hard questions, seeking the truth and reporting their efforts.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 11:01:36 AM

I'll second that, TJ!

Guardian, just like Steve Clark (a gun expert IMHO), I said that I also seriously doubt Eppard was able to keep a grip on the shotgun after discharging it in the manner the cop shoppes say it took place.

It takes one hell of a man to stick a shotgun out the window, drape it across the hood, and maintain possession of it after discharging it one handedly. Even if using the spotlight on the cop shoppe car as a tripod, it's an amazing accomplishment.

I would love to see video of this Hollywood stunt to disprove the opinion of myself and Steve Clark.

And sadly enough, after having seen the list of those "Officers firing on Eppard", there's two in the list I wouldn't trust as far as I could toss a 90 pound bag of mortar. One of them should have been drummed out of law enforcement a long time ago.

Tony's Two cents worth2/25/2010 12:08:47 PM

I guess I am one hell of a man for being able to shoot a shotgun with one hand...I understand the gun he had that day had a full stock probably, but I have a friend that owns a pistol gripped pump 12 gauge and have shot it many times one handed out at the gun range. I also know that back during my deer pouching days of my youth it was nothing to hold a spot light in one hand and drop the deer with the other, so I must have been a super teenager as well Wow Cool I'm Awesome:)

I must agree that Lisa has delivered a great report on this criminal's demise, it's a real shame this man didn't listen to the lady in Free Union, but he had his plans, they were already in motion when he stopped for gas.

What exactly is a cop shoppe ?

I just don't understand what you people wanted, did you want a cop to get shot or killed before they were allowed to start protecting themselves and the general public ?Do you expect the Police to become rolling shrinks, out curing the person's ills on the street. Maybe you expected the Police to just pull him out the car and all take turns hugging him. Maybe the Officers were to go get him that Pony he wanted when he was 8, I mean what were these guys to do ? Hey wait I got it, they were to wait until he gunned down all of them but one, so then it would have been a more fair duel to the death.

Seriously folks, this man was a menace to society, his actions that day, as well as his actions on July 10 just proves it.

Whatever twist you want to try and put on this to make this man look innocent and the Police guilty isn't going to work on anyone with half a brain that can look at the patterns and see this event while sad and tragic, saved lives and prevented crime !

You can have all the Hollywood reenactments you want, for me someone just shooting a shotgun in my general direction would make me fear my life and cause me to fire back to eliminate the threat against me, and yes I would continue to fire until I was sure that threat was eliminated, whether it be one bullet or all 37 that I carry on me ! Once he shot that gun out the window one time, it opened up the rules of engagement, they were justified in their actions that day, he dug his own grave, now he is lying in it !

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 12:22:38 PM

Tony, instead of telling us what you can or can't do, step up to the plate and show us in person. That's all I would ask of anybody.

Find an old junk car out in the country somewhere, sit in the driver's seat with your right hand on the steering wheel and your left hand on a shotgun draped across the hood, and discharge the weapon.

Let us see you maintain possession and control of the shotgun.

It's very easy to make a video of this and post it on You Tube. Give us a link to your You Tube video please.

FYI, I attempted this on Wednesday afternoon. I sat at a picnic table on my brother's farm. I held a wooden apple crate directly in front of me with my right hand and attempted to hold onto a shotgun while firing it with my left hand (weak arm). I had no trouble getting the shotgun out an imaginary driver's window and around the imaginary windshield (apple crate), but I could not maintain control and possession of the shotgun after discharging it.

Guardian2/25/2010 12:46:06 PM

Why was Greene County's officer Snead engaged in a pursuit and a shooting 20 miles into Albemarle County.

If this is a violation of STATE LAW, why has he not been CHARGED for acting outside the scope of his AUTHORITY, and conducting law enforcement activities outside his JURISDICTION?

Are we supposed to believe he was just there to pick up Sellari's stolen cruiser?

Tony's Two cents worth2/25/2010 1:08:41 PM

BTW for all of those questioning shooting a shotgun one handedly try this with a 12 gauge: hold the gun and rest the butt against your bicep, then pull the trigger....there you just shot a shotgun one handed !

I don't personally own a shotgun anymore, I guess I could try it with my carbine, since that has one heck of a kick to it, but let me track down a 12 Gauge and if I am successful I would love to make a video for you ! I will get back with you on this, because I know I can !

Guardian2/25/2010 2:11:50 PM

Where is the CSI report? Albemarle County has the investigators available, and I'm sure there must have been a report filed.

Pray and Let Go2/25/2010 3:31:38 PM

1. Why is the photo of officer Snead the only one (of authorities) here? Where are photos of the other officers involved? Why is he being targeted here? And don't you think he, or anyone else, who was present was questioned (regarding those of you who say he was in violation of a law) and would have been charged at this point if they were in violation of a state or federal law?

2. If you were in the position of all of the state and local authorities involved wouldn't you have carried out the same actions to protect other citizens as they all did?

3. The report has been issued and the investigation by Ms. Lunsford is over. Pissing and moaning here is contributing absolutely nothing to the situation.

So - pray for Colby and his family. Pray for the authorities involved. And let it go. It's over.

I had my child taken from this earth and his family too soon and tragically at that. So, yes, I can truly present an honest viewpoint here.

Guardian2/25/2010 4:54:11 PM

1. Maybe the picture was taken from the Greene County Sheriff's official website.

Major Snead was 20 miles outside his jurisdiction and in clear violation of State Law. Good question, why hasn't he been charged with this violation, maybe he's above the law.

2. I don't think shooting this teenager 22 + times, firing in excess of 60 + rounds to accomplish this task was anywhere close to appropriate. 2/3 of the rounds fired apparently missing their target. How is that being accountable for each round fired?

3. The commonwealths attorney would not answer a single question concerning her decision. This fortunately does not close the door to the continued legal process, and she will have to answer for that decision whether she wants to or not before the next election. She coincidentally had no problem discussing her predecessors inability to bring charges when someone died because of another's negligence during her election campaign.

Pray for his Family, by all means, but don't make excuses for law enforcements actions that day. They were for the most part, absurd to say the least.

It is tragic that you had to bury your child, but that doesn't make your viewpoint any more "honest" than anyone else.

Good use of experts Hook....2/25/2010 6:02:08 PM

How much shotgun training does a court bailiff get? How much investigative training/shooting death training does a court bailiff get? How about an auxiliary deputy? The Hook might just want to interview actual police officers/deputies about this incident. Heck, go up to Fairfax County and interview them. You don't have to keep it local. A shotgun is a shotgun. Interviewing bozos with an axe to grind with law enforcement further contributes to this paper's poor reputation.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 6:31:48 PM

The investigations of critical incidents involving cops in Virginia has always been flawed. Simply put, you have a fox investigating whether another fox snuck into the hen house and killed a hen. This particular case was complicated even further by the investigating agency actually having to rule on whether one of their own officers had done anything wrong.

Another disturbing fact, directly related to this case IMHO, actually took place in 1997. I asked the state police to investigate the intentional and malicious wrongful acts of several local cops. Up to and including perjury committed in front of a a magistrate, and perjury committed in the courtroom(s). The Virginia State Police told me, and I quote, "it's not our job to investigate and prosecute other cops." A magistrate can only be compelled to offer testimony or evidence in very few circumstances. But the magistrate involved was ready and willing to speak on my behalf in the cases I wanted investigated. The state police wouldn't even talk to him.

I don't know the solution. Who should be responsible for investigating critical incidents involving cops?

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 6:42:33 PM

I figured one of my fan club members would show up sooner or later. Welcome to the party, pal.

Even though you appear as if you want to play stupid, I am absolutely sure you know that the full time court officers in Charlottesville, Albemarle County and Greene County receive the exact same training as any other cop out on the street. Many court officers, a/k/a deputy sheriffs, have MORE training. It's called "decades of experience". How many years of experience do you have toting a badge and gun out on the streets?

Your Name2/25/2010 6:48:43 PM

"Combat Ready Stance” sounds like sensationalized verbiage for someone emerging from a car with a windshield riddled with so many bullet holes. All that glass flying, bullets hitting the car, sirens blaring, police yelling, and the youthful Colby emerges like Rambo? It also seems plausible that he emerged in a “Wounded Animal Stance” and attempted to surrender, or flee into the woods for another successful attempt at escape.

do the crime do the time2/25/2010 6:55:15 PM

Who cares how many bullets were fired? I don't care if they took him out car and all with an F-16 and a stinger missle. He was a terrorist in action. He wasn't running from the cops he was on a rampage. If he was running from the cops he would have ditched the car along one of the old dirt roads along route 6 of which there are many. He wanted to be a badass and he got what he wanted.

Gas dog, if you had wanted to have your situation dealt with you should have sued for a civil rights violation. That would have at least led to discovery and open court testimony.

Nowadays you can just state your accusation on youtube and watch the fur fly.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 7:00:47 PM

Your Name, written reports at the conclusion of an investigation are always worded in a light most favorable to the Commonwealth. This is nothing new. They should hire John Grisham or Stephen King to compose their final reports. :)

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 7:03:39 PM

Mr/Mrs/Miss do the crime do the time, I dealt with my situation. I was pleased with the outcome(s) whether the state police or any other law enforcement official took an interest or not. I'm not your average intimidated citizen. I roll over and play dead for nobody.

Guardian2/25/2010 7:36:26 PM

Look at the latest conspiracy that came out today concerning the NOPD, I think the magic number was 7 officers involved so far in that confirmed cover up. I believe those officers had also been previously cleared by their department, and the DA's office. I'm sure they thought it was all over. It would have been, if not for the Fed's getting involved. Maybe we have our own Albemarle seven. The Eppard family have every right to request an FBI investigation.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/25/2010 7:55:42 PM

Me.... I'm still laughing at the Miami cops who set out to frame a woman for a wreck they caused. They were going to claim she was drunk and caused the wreck.

Throughout the tape, the cops acknowledged what they are doing is illegal, but when you are the law, there is nothing wrong with bending it for a fellow cop, one cop says…

But...... they forgot their own video cameras were on. Caught in the act! :)


Harry2/26/2010 7:59:47 AM

At least one person tried to dissuade Colby from continuing on. Thank goodness she was not attacked by him....and this was at the calmest part of the "chase"......if he were to be stopped, or if he did not have the intention of continuing on, this was the time for him to take that course.

Unfortnautley for the family, I have to believe that the police have all the evidence they need to prove that deadly force was necessary.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/26/2010 9:02:16 AM

Harry, if you look at the drunk driver example I just listed above your reply, the cop shoppe thought they had all the evidence they needed to prove a lady actually caused a wreck they had in fact caused. They were all going to walk into a courtroom and lie like dogs.

In other words, a cop shoppe who has all the evidence they need in a case often creates the evidence themselves. :)

Not saying that happened in this local case, but many people will always believe it did. Their refusal to release any remaining video to anybody reinforces that belief. Even Chief Longo released the 85 mph pursuit through a city neighborhood video.

Eppard was being discussed at a meeting I attended Wednesday. Every single law abiding God fearing person there felt...

1- some events did not take place in the manner in which they are said to have taken place

2- there was serious overkill

3- Greene County must do as they damn well please in order to drive 20 miles outside their jurisdiction to participate in a shootout

4- the cop shoppe attempted to hide and destroy the cop shoppe car as quick as they possibly could; and, the salvage company erred in allowing the family to see the car

5- an agency that had an officer involved should not have been investigating the events

6- why are there only 8 videos when 15 cop shoppe cars were involved

I don't necessarily agree on all points, but it is conceivable that the family could possibly obtain another $$4 million dollar wrongful death judgement like in the Frederick Gray case not long ago. The cop shoppes thought the Gray vs Albemarle Police was a no-win case for the Gray family until it landed in front of a jury. All the evidence needed to prove deadly force was necessary proved to be useless in the Gray case.

Your Name2/26/2010 10:24:00 AM

Greene Sheriff's Major Randy Snead being involved makes it sound like a potential mission of revenge and he was apparently not going to miss out on the excitement regardless of an impediment like being outside his jurisdiction.

The total number of bullets fired, and those hitting Colby may, or may not be relevant, unless Colby tried to surrender and they shot him in the heat-of-the-moment. Then the video tapes would not see the light of day, the total number of bullets fired and hitting Colby would be brushed aside as irrelevant, those involved would refuse further questions, the car would be headed for demolition and unnecessary Hollywood-style verbiage would be used to make Colby sound as menacing as possible when he exited the car.

I hope the family gets the answers they deserve one day. I think it is cruel that they had to resort to investigating on their own in pursuit of answers by taking pictures in Richmond of the car their son died in, or within proximity. Law enforcement must have dozens of photographs of the scene and the car, they admit they have numerous videos, but the family still has lingering questions?

Guardian2/26/2010 1:31:20 PM

There is a phenomenon in our society. It is our collective lack of oversight of those in Law Enforcement. How else can anyone explain the direct involvement of Randy Snead in this shooting, and not a single Law Enforcement Agency raised this issue, nor did the Commonwealth's Attorney's office explain it in her report. Not a single News Agency questioned this fact, except the Hook.

Unless there is a Federal investigation into this shooting, the truth will never be told, too many involved in this cover up.

RC Cola2/26/2010 3:22:44 PM

Gasbag,Your Name or Guardian...really hard for me to beleive that LE could be LYING, but after your recent comments, im not so sure anymore! Something or a whole bunch of someones not right, if LE is being legit then why would they play hide & seek ? For such a open & shut case, man how things have changed....for me anyway!

quack2/26/2010 3:34:30 PM

Time for an oversight committee with authority.

Guardian2/26/2010 4:24:14 PM

People are afraid they will be singled out by law enforcement if they get involved with any oversight committee, and the truth is they probably will, so they will have to be above reproach. The truth is most within our society actually do not trust law enforcement and many actually fear any involvement with them. Why do you think those within the law enforcement community get so comfortable in their positions that they act outside their jurisdictions without any apparent restraint from those in charge of them. I believe many have lost their moral compass and believe they are no longer accountable to the public they are sworn to protect and serve, and actually believe they are above the law, or that they are the law.

Tony's Two Cents Worth2/26/2010 4:58:54 PM

I am still working on the 12 gauge for the tests, my friend that owns one and said I could borrow it has been working long hours so I just need to find a time to hook up with him to get the gun for a day. He also expressed interest in seeing the outcome of the tests.

I don't see what the big deal is about the Greene county officer staying in the pursuit, being it did originate in his county and ended in one of his departments cars. A few years back I got pulled over for speeding in Lyndhurst by a Waynesboro Police officer and I questioned him being out of his jurisdiction and his reply was that they are allowed outside of jurisdiction and if I would feel better he could summons a state trooper to the scene to issue the ticket. The officer was pretty cool about it and just issued me a warning, so I didn't push the jurisdiction thing.

Guardian2/26/2010 5:32:07 PM

Toney - The reason the officer didn't write you a ticket is because he would still be required to show up in court once you contested the ticket, which he obviously felt you were prepared to do. The chance of him doing that is near zero, that's why you got the warning. Randy Snead was not part of the ongoing pursuit, someone called him on his cell phone and gave him Colby Eppards location.

When you do your shotgun test make sure you are driving like you are running from the cops, say at least 60-70 mph.

Your Name2/26/2010 5:49:41 PM

Re Guardian's: "When you do your shotgun test make sure you are driving like you are running from the cops, say at least 60-70 mph."

And assume a "Combat Ready Stance" from within the motor vehicle.

Anyone know if Colby was left or right handed?

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/26/2010 6:41:43 PM

Right handed.

This means he held onto the shotgun, discharged it with his weak hand, and still maintained possession and control of it.

K.P2/26/2010 6:56:23 PM

i say its all up to the dashcams.....that will prove alot and if the police refuse to show the cams..thats a little suspicious to me. im sorry for the family for losing their son, my heart goes out to you.

Curious2/26/2010 7:10:11 PM

In reading this article, the reporter does an excellent job of referring to Colby as Ms. Fosters' son, but an outsider reading this may think that the Fosters are trying to get money from "their sons" death. The Fosters refer to Colby as "a boy" and "a kid". Where is the sorrow and love for Colby they should be feeling? It's my understanding that Colby was never a part of Mr. Foster's life. Colby's life and death was a tragedy. The Fosters making money on his death would be an even greater tragedy.

Your Name2/26/2010 7:53:19 PM

Quoted from the Commonwealth's report: “As he passed Marden’s position Eppard placed the shotgun out the driver window and across the windshield of the stolen patrol vehicle and fired at Marden and Fields.”

The 12 gauge I have is a Smith and Wesson 1000 that measures 42 inches overall, and in my warm house sitting in a chair, I must state that this would not be an easy shotgun to wield out the left window of a moving motor vehicle one-handed, with wind resistance, and fire to the right across the windshield, while maintaining control of the vehicle. I don't care to know what one-handed recoil is like, but that adds to the numerous complications and skill level necessary. The police must use a lighter and shorter shotgun if the scenario were plausible. Even still, why not just roll down the right window and shoot to the right with your dominate hand?

The video may show Colby's technique, but apparently the camera faced the trunk, unless he repositioned the camera, or maybe there are two cameras?

Jim Rockford2/26/2010 8:04:02 PM

The tapes will be available at SOME point. The prosecuter KNOWS they will be seen. If there was an obvious violation on the video they would all be fried for it. I believe the report. I think that the odds are there was some adrenaline flowing (and rightly so) but I also believe that ending it the way they did was the right thing. If he had run my family off the road and killed them I would have been first in line to electrocute him.

I don't care about his past. Society as a whole comes ahead of one person with a screw loose. We all have our cross to bear. If this family wants to look at the past they need to start years before that fateful day.

Your Name2/26/2010 8:21:46 PM

Oh boy, Jim Rockford is here: one of the greatest television detectives who took a back seat to Peter Falk.

If you are, hypothetically, first in line to electrocute someone for running your family off the road, I suggest you research the definition of a "capital offence".

Guardian2/26/2010 8:59:28 PM

If I understand Jim Rockford correctly, the mentally ill are to be dealt with however law enforcement chooses. He must also believe the firing of 60 + rounds, 2/3 of those rounds missing the intended target is also OK, as that is how it ended. Maybe he would not think that way had just one of those 40 + rounds penetrated someones home and killed a child sitting in front of their TV watching Sponge Bob.

Tony's Two Cents Worth2/26/2010 9:32:26 PM

He wasn't running from the Police, people that run the Police don't pull over and wait for the Police to turn around, he was taunting the Police, it was a game to him, don't you get it ? This "man" knew what he was doing, he said what he said, and did what he did all to push the Police's buttons so to speak . I don't feel one bit of sorrow for this family, from all reports they were never a part of his life when it really mattered, ain't no use crying at a box when it's too late to show you care that's for darn sure !

He was out on a terroristic rampage, he doesn't need to have a towel on his head to be a terrorist in my book, and the Police handled him as such.

That's a awfully lot of what ifs there G, what if every bullet fired hit Colby and the car ? what if pigs start to fly ? what if I would have really been a porn star ? life is filled with what ifs.....

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/26/2010 9:48:15 PM

I can certainly understand 66% of the rounds missing the intended target. I used to work with several deputy sheriffs that I didn't want anywhere near me if a shootout erupted. It took them numerous attempts to even qualify at the range each year. I always feared they would end up shooting me or the judge if a shootout took place in a courtroom.

Jim, yes, some of the tapes will be available at some point in time. I do not for one second believe the public will ever see all of the tapes. I don't even believe all of the tapes still exist. And I base this opinion on the belief that I could have proven that an intentional and deliberate destruction of audio tapes took place in 1997 once a subpoena was issued for said audio tapes.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/26/2010 9:51:43 PM

What if pigs start to fly? Well, there would most likely be a terrible shortage of bacon. :)

Hook Deletes Posts2/26/2010 10:39:32 PM

My comments in the Kluge thread were deleted. Don't question those with money here. Your comments will be deleted. The Hook just lost relevance to me as news which was marginal at best anyway. I sent an email to all of their advertisers on their behalf. Let peace reign. :)

get even2/26/2010 10:57:53 PM

post your rant on craigslist.org

hey guardian2/26/2010 11:01:08 PM

rockford said: If he had run my family off the road and killed them I would have been first in line to electrocute him.

what part of killed them isn't a capitol offense?

Harry2/27/2010 8:19:18 AM

I would think that the tapes, the films and the accounts of witnesses other than police officers will point toward an intent by Colby Eppard to do harm with a weapon- whether that be a car or a gun.

I believe that all law enforcement officers in this Country have a right to defend themselves as well as the duty to "protect and serve".

The young man had all of the tools at his disposal to discontinue the chase and do what he knew would works to bring an end to the turmoil HE created.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/27/2010 9:15:08 AM

Harry, I think the public learned all they need to know about "witnesses" back during the Mitchell event. The cops told the police chief there were NO witnesses to a police car running over Jerry Mitchell in a wheelchair. They made the chief appear as if HE was involved in the coverup.

yes but.....2/27/2010 10:32:26 AM

the witnesses came forward and the truth came out...

where are the "witnesses" who say he was simply lost on his way to return a police car that he found running with the keys in the ignition and was just hoping for a good samaritan award?

Do you think the people he nearly killed on route 20 are going to say that he was driving like a little old lady?

Did the gun shoot itself?

Was he able to get off all those shots with a zillion bullets flying at him?

He was a disturbed kid. He was recalled by the manuafaturer.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/27/2010 10:54:59 AM

A "witness" would have to be totally insane to step forward and contradict the findings of the investigation now.

And I base this opinion on the fact that two well documented attempts on my life were made after I filed lawsuits against a cop shoppe.

Don't get me wrong, I still think 95% of law enforcement officers are decent and honest hard working individuals. At the same time though I don't see anything wrong with current or former cops playing the part of the "devil's advocate" in events where questionable statements or recollections about the event arise.

Guardian2/27/2010 2:00:56 PM

What the average citizen can't wrap their mind around is how rampant dishonesty is within our local law enforcement community that goes from the top to the bottom.

Did not the Chief of Police came out and make an official statement that there were NO WITNESSES to the incident involving the wheelchair bound man hit in the downtown crosswalk when right there on the police video was a WITNESS helping the officer to hustle the man back into his wheelchair and get him out of the road. That was a clear attempted cover up by police, that has come to light. How many never do?

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/28/2010 9:18:30 AM

I do not agree, Guardian. Over the last 20 years I have watched law enforcement's reputation for truthfulness in communities sink to an all time low nationwide. I feel it started when the Rodney King video magically showed up in Los Angeles which contradicted the written reports that had filed by the cops present at the scene. Not long after that, 5 New York city cop shoppe detectives laughed on national TV and lied about impaling a suspect in custody with a broomstick. Then we find out it was indeed true after the detectives had repeatedly called the suspect a liar.

I wish there was some way to fix this problem. I hate to sit by and watch the prrefession go to hell in a handbasket. But as long as the commonwealth and law enforcement refuse to answer the public's questions, it will NOT improve.

As far as Albemarle County's reputation for truthfulness.... well, I think a jury has already addressed this issue when they awarded the Gray family $4 million dollars in the wrongful death lawsuit a few years ago.

Guardian2/28/2010 10:09:00 AM

Police officers used to be physically tough, their physical presence alone was enough to defuse most situations, and if someone wanted to be combative, they were more than capable. The last local department that held that kind of physical standard was Greene's own Sheriff Will Morris that kept the weak from even applying for the job.

Today they are smarter, no doubt, but because of political correctness, they are not, with few exception as physically tough. Gray whipped at least 5 police officers the day he was shot and killed by police, who made no effort to use the less than lethal tools at their disposal, thus the four million dollar award to his family. Why did this happen, because they never prepared themselves for a fist fight, and ultimately used more force than what was appropriate.

Tina2/28/2010 10:19:00 AM

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name (required)2/28/2010 10:34:25 AM

GSOE wrote "As far as Albemarle County's reputation for truthfulness"

A $4 million dollar award means nothing to them, obviously. They didn't learn anything from it.

Eppard's family should sue. Not to get rich but because it's the only way they or anyone else will ever find out what happened. The sad thing is they probably won't since they wouldn't be able to endure the "rednecks just trying to get rich" BS that nearly everyone will throw at them.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert2/28/2010 12:06:28 PM

Of course a $4 million dollar award in a wrongful death lawsuit means nothing to Albemarle County. Because the taxpayers are footing the entire bill. Not only that, but the taxpayers footed the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees as Albemarle County fought this lawsuit for years.

God only knows how much Albemarle County spent in legal fees fighting the lawsuits I filed against them in 1997. Only to have them settle out of court 7 years later as soon as the judge set a definite date for the jury to hear my claims.

Believe it or not, lawsuits aren't always about "money". Monetary damages are pretty much the only compensation a judge or jury can award a plaintiff. This is why lawsuits are worded as seeking $3 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages. It's not like the judge or jury can say, "Mr. Gasbag, as compensation for your damages, we hereby give you 45 minutes in a corn field with the cop! You extract whatever compensation you desire during that 45 minutes!"

Sue'um2/28/2010 9:39:34 PM


curious also3/2/2010 5:19:56 PM

Why can't Mrs. Foster obtain autopsy reports that would maybe answer some of her concerns. Also wondering if a toxicology report was done since he had purchased beer at his age ??????

TEACHER3/2/2010 9:24:27 PM

I have been acutely distressed following the details of Colby's death. I knew him as a student. I taught him intermittingly for three years. He experienced learning problems but was always respectful and cordial in my class. He was eager to please and reponded favorbly to attention. He would tell me about sneaking to chew tobacco in class, swallowing the juice. I was never intimidated by Colby but saw a kid, somewhat misdirected, in need of genuine love and positive engagement. Instead of making positive intervention, we were always more content to punish this needy young man. He always reminded me of a cross between Gomer Pyle and "cool-hand Luke". I firmly believe Colby would have reponded favorbly to a police negotiator. Would we have lost anything in trying? I believe a reasoned enlightened approached would have been more prudent. The use of entreme violence brutalizes the society and creates deep distrust. Ironically,the police violated the very credo they had sworn to uphold.Excessive violence does great harm to our society and the "rule of law". Their actions are an affront to the many fine policemen in our community. Our community deserves better. Colby deserved better!

smoke it3/3/2010 6:55:27 AM

haven't seen any of these posted, but there are plenty of them on youtube. Greene carries shotguns with pistol grips which seems to be the key to shooting one handed. It's very possible to steer with your left hand, rest the shotgun in the passenger open window and fire away as you pass officers. I really hope they release the videos soon so all you fools can move on to something else.


Guardian3/3/2010 7:57:01 AM

It is very unlikely that Colby Eppard actually shot at police multiple times with a 12 gauge shotgun and yet did not manage to strike a single officer with a single pellet of buckshot, or broken vehicle glass. Those stories have more weight with those that know nothing about shotguns, and their effect. There were no injuries to law enforcement reported, not a single one. There was interestingly enough the initial report of an officer struck which was however withdrawn that would have been evidence of them actually having been shot at with Colby Eppard's stolen police shotgun. It would appear stories are much easier to fabricate than wounds. I don't believe the scene at the time of this shooting was one indicative of miracles with as much pride, and anger evident on the part of law enforcement. I wonder why they won't discuss the weapons they used to kill this teenager, could it be they don't want it known that they used military weaponry like the M-16 assault rifle.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/3/2010 7:57:26 AM

Yeah, I have seen them before. If a red headed stepchild rookie didn't have an IQ high enough to know how to use a tape rule, they would think it's a "sawed off shotgun" and end up being sued for placing false felony charges against somebody. :)

But anyhow, getting back on topic, I agree that Eppard could have held on to the shotgun if he discharged it in the manner you speak of. But the Virginia State Police report says, "placed the shotgun out the driver window and across the windshield of the stolen patrol vehicle and fired at Marden and Fields."

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/3/2010 8:51:25 AM

Can anybody guess what this cop is saying?

Let me point you to the key words….

“Charles, depending on the circumstances, they might get cuffed and stuffed, but it wouldn’t be without a *struggle*, if they committed an assault in my presence.”


Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/3/2010 2:47:14 PM

It never ceases to amaze me when people clam up and disappear in a discussion when I provide proof positive that "street justice" and "police brutality" still exists in this country! :)

Guardian3/4/2010 2:31:48 AM

I believe it was Pride, and Anger displayed by Law Enforcement January 1, 2010 that contributed greatly to the outcome of this tragedy, and ultimately led to their Wrath being unleashed.

Wrath, also known as anger or "rage", may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. These feelings can manifest as vehement denial of the truth, both to others and in the form of self-denial, impatience with the procedure of law, and the desire to seek revenge outside of the workings of the justice system. Dante described vengeance as "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite".

Name3/4/2010 9:23:35 PM

You raise a good point Guardian. And in addition, at the final show-down, there must have been a herd mentality at work where law enforcement in a pack – like the Rodney King beating – act different than if they were alone, or in small numbers.

Honestly, when you even get “A Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Conservation Officer” following the pursuit, obviously no one wants to be left out of the “Big One” and relegated to the side lines.

In hindsight it would of probably been best to ignore Colby for a few days and arrest him at a time and place that would not have put the general population in danger. A negotiator on the radio with Colby could of helped as well, but law enforcement in their statement to the family had already determined it was going to be a negative outcome, and it certainly was.

Is chase'um and shoot'um really the most intelligent solution we have to these situations?

Guardian3/4/2010 10:33:14 PM

Look at the situation awhile back in Greene where the Game Warden Robert Orrin Ham III, shot and killed an unarmed 16 year old boy named Allen Cochran. A Game Warden responding to a Domestic, like he had any training whatsoever dealing with that type of situation, and actually being able to take the lead away from the Deputy in that incident. He was also awarded a Certificate of Valor for that fiasco, maybe that explains why every tackleberry still wants their shot at glory, regardless of the consequences.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/5/2010 8:36:55 AM

Guardian, wasn't the cop shoppe killing in Greene County based on false information? It was reported to the cop shoppe that the kid had abducted the girl with him, and it wasn't true? The girl was with him voluntarily?

Mr/Mrs/Miss Name, you ask "is chase'um and shoot'um really the most intelligent solution we have to these situations"? Well, the cop shoppe profession is not full of rocket scientists. If it were, the rookies would be working at NASA for about $600,000 a year rather than driving a cop shoppe car for $50,000 a year. I don't think some of these rookies are capable of thinking fast on their feet. The rookie I butted heads with back in 1997 couldn't even think up lies fast enough to keep his head above water. And his sergeant couldn't think fast enough to toss him a flotation device.

And my usual disclaimer... 95% of cops are decent hard working and honest individuals. The other 5% belong in jail. And whether they ever trip up and get caught up in their own perjury, they know who they are.

Expert3/5/2010 9:09:35 AM

It kills me how ill informed most of the people posting here are.

Guardian3/5/2010 4:45:00 PM

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Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/5/2010 5:08:36 PM

Guardian, what really irks me about cop shoppes and sheriff's offices nationwide is when the head wingnut fires somebody or disciplines somebody for nothing more than they have done themselves. I could list numerous examples... locally, statewide and nationally.

Guest3/5/2010 5:48:09 PM

I agree with Tracy, if it were there kid then they would not be so quick to Judge, I agree with Expert people are so ill informed it baffles the mind.

Guardian3/5/2010 6:40:43 PM

GSOE, I say this, without exception, the individuals I have crossed paths with in my career who were morally bankrupt met the same demise eventually.

Expert3/5/2010 8:38:44 PM

I agree it's almost like sleeping in court. Right Gasbag? They would have been better off if they were auxillery officers with 2 weeks of training and no arrest powers. Right Gasbag?

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/5/2010 8:50:05 PM

Mr/Mrs/Miss Expert, poor choice of user name there. Because you're obviosuly no expert. I, as a full time deputy sheriff for several decades, received the same training every cop in this city and county has ever received. Plus mandated "in-service" training every 2 years. I carried this state certification to Greene County with me where I also served as an auxiliary deputy sheriff. Furthermore, I had FULL arrest powers the entire time.

How much of an expert do you feel you are now? :)

Expert3/5/2010 9:03:56 PM

Then you realize that Greene dropped it's auxiliary program because of the liability. Basically cost 2 much for county 2 insure.

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/5/2010 10:23:36 PM

Even if that was true, it still doesn't make what you said above accurate. 2 weeks training, no arrest powers! HaHaHa!

The auxiliary program was Sheriff Morris' baby. I don't think Haas ever approved of the program or ever intended to keep it going after Morris retired and he was elected.

traci3/6/2010 11:32:52 PM

Personally, i don't care for "the hook." They seem to be coming from more of a liberal stand point when i am very conservative. However, most ALL local news, televised or printed are liberal as well. The Hook's difference seems to be in digging deeper into issues. If you are digging deeper for truth, facts, explaination, etc........is that wrong??

My father served in the United States Navy. My brother and myself served in the Army. I was raised to respect God, the authourities, government, country. With that said, we were also raised to question authority when it's power is being abused.

I have no doubt that Colby put HIMSELF into a very outlandish situation that was leading to a very clear outcome of his death. Verbal threats to those who serve to protect others only leads in one direction obviously.... See More

Irregardless of the obvious outcome, the inevitable death of an 18-yo gone mad.......do we not deserve to know facts, truth, explaination as a people, as a community, as a parent?

I was one of the first to make a statement on facebook in defense of the authorities in this case. Those who choose to take on the most honorable position of wearing the uniform to protect others have my utmost respect.

I am not close to Colby's parents. However, I knew Colby as family. I loved Colby. I can also say that I knew Colby had issues, serious issues. I remember actually commenting to Colby's uncle one day "that boy is going to end up in jail or dead before he is an adult. when someone has no respect for authourity that is where they most likely will end up."

BUT still. With all of this said. Truth is truth. Facts are facts. If there is nothing to hide then why does it seem like so many things are being kept from public knowledge. If statements & reaccounts of the events are true, then police car video cameras, that OUR tax-payer dollars pay for, should be able to back those truths and accounts up. And, if those cameras contradict statements and reaccounts.....well, then that is pure abuse of power & authourity

CWC3/14/2010 12:20:00 PM

Deleted by moderator.

name3/16/2010 9:14:52 PM

Colby Eppard tapes need to be released.

Quit hiding evidence.

People never forget and this will never blow over.

CWE3/25/2010 1:21:56 PM

tony if you dont know what your talking about shut up!!! you have no clue about colby or his family so how do you say they were not their for him. his mom was not their for him and i know this but their were many people that were. so shut your big mouth.

Abby3/29/2010 6:22:40 AM

Gosh, this certainly sounds like overkill to me. Like many, I wonder why noone tried to negotiate with the young man. Why was Officer Snead involved at all and exactly why can't the videos be released? It makes me wonder if this is tied into another case or if that one remains unsolved perhaps this is how they will close it? There are way too many questions.

debbie A.3/29/2010 10:51:35 AM

It would appear to me that a medical examiner would have been able to tell how many times this young man was shot. Was this not done ?

debbie A.3/29/2010 11:46:27 AM

Can anyone tell me if officer Snead is any kin to Sarah Snead ?

Raul Duke3/29/2010 12:21:34 PM

Who's Sarah Snead?

Voice of Reason3/29/2010 12:58:52 PM

"friend" of Morgan Harrington who was with her at the Metallica concert and left after the concert in Morgan's car - without Morgan

debbie A3/29/2010 4:04:42 PM

I just read where he was taken to the medical examiners office in Richmond. He would have told the family how many times her son was shot. Again, does anyone know if Sarah and the cop are kin ?

Raul Duke3/29/2010 4:47:52 PM

are you sensing a connection, debbie? got some theories about the two cases?

debbie A3/29/2010 8:26:44 PM

I wish I did. Just remembered that one of Morgan Harrington's- so called friends had the last name of Snead.

debbie A3/29/2010 11:10:43 PM

That is Sarah's father !!! Well- I'll be darn !!

fact check3/30/2010 11:03:20 AM

Is that right? Over at Blink on Crime, she has not confirmed there is any relation at all.

Arpal3/30/2010 11:14:00 AM

As if blink on crime is some sort of authority on the subject and not just some busybody nutter? Are people really trying to connect these two crimes? get real...its all some big conspiracy! boogy boogy boogy!

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert3/30/2010 11:33:33 AM

The Greene County Sheriff's Department used to have two Sneads working for them. But one of them moved on and was working at the Albemarle County Police Department the last I heard. I haven't seen him for a very long time, so I am not sure if he still works for Albemarle or not. I'm pretty sure his father actually worked for our local Ford dealer. And Colby was driving a Ford at the time of his death. There's got to be a few "connect the dots" worth looking into here. Wad ya'll think?

Arpal3/30/2010 11:55:41 AM

This goes much deeper than anyone ever thought! I think there's sufficient evidence to tie in the Illuminati and Johnny G's microscopic brainwave powered nano-robots and va tech mind control experiments

fact check3/30/2010 1:00:28 PM

fact is, blink was asked this question directly and she would probably know - she's contributing to the investigation, imo. I'm asking if debbie knows this for a fact. I don't think there's any connection either. just the facts, maam

C'antstangz No'mour3/30/2010 1:03:19 PM

Arpal, you are so right! Peter Chang and Halsey Minor's involvement must be exposed too! "Peaceable Kingdom," the title of one of the artworks that put Minor's name in the news, is a code name well known among Illuminati watchers. It is a scheme to feed nanobot energizers to the masses by hiding them in szechuan peppercorn laced food. Illuminati shills Calvin Trillin and the New Yorker are working with Chang to enslave the world. The DC area was first and now the whole East Coast. You can find all of this on Google.

debbie A3/30/2010 6:12:28 PM

Wow !!! Did not mean to ruffle your feathers fact check. Maybe you should have answered my question instead of waiting to see what I would say. Hmmmmmm.

I have been reading so much from people who live in Charlottesville and surrounding areas.

I think all are living in one HUGE town and the town reminds me of an old T.V. show--DALLAS.

fact check3/30/2010 8:24:39 PM

don't get your knickers in a twist, drama queen. I don't know the answer, but I think if you don't either, you should never have said: "That is Sarah's father !!! Well- I'll be darn !!" You have a source?

Matt B.3/30/2010 10:05:53 PM

Go back to Blink ! LOL

Debbie A3/30/2010 11:08:39 PM

All you have to do is set a little bait out there and one dummy will go after it !!!

blondedreamer4/7/2010 9:33:45 PM

Its time to leave it alone!!! The family has hurt enough!!! I do know that Colby was loved and is dearly missed!!! So get on with your lives and find someone else to torment!!!!!

As CWE said....just SHUT UP!!!!

Nacho4/12/2010 2:24:23 PM

Blink is nothing. She just put on her site that there is fact checking going on. Now go back and look at posted names here.

Debbie A.4/12/2010 10:06:32 PM

Yep !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

debbie A.4/12/2010 10:10:01 PM

No --- She is NO dummy-- You are the dummies. There were some wanna be Rambo's shooting at this young man. Do you NOT get it ????????????

debbie A.4/12/2010 10:14:56 PM

I think you are right on spot Gasbag !

roadtrip4/13/2010 5:07:56 PM

I think it is Hinky that no video is available from Eppard's incident NOR is there video available from JPJA the night Morgan Harrington disappeared. I wonder why that is? UVA/Alb Co having budget issues that they have to turn off the cameras?

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