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Officers shot man after being threatened by firearm during ensuing chase

Scene now stable, heavy police presence remains

Officers were initially alerted to gunshots at the scene near Emmet Street, about two miles away from central Grounds.
Officers were initially alerted to gunshots at the scene near Emmet Street, about two miles away from central Grounds.

The Charlottesville Police Department responded to a shots fired incident near the Red Roof at 10:05 a.m., per a community alert sent Tuesday morning by Timothy Longo, chief of the University Police Department and vice president for security and safety. The suspect — 44-year old Albemarle county resident Billy Sites — was shot by officers and later died. 

A detective initially spotted Sites — a wanted individual — and then pursued him to a wooded area where Sites fired several rounds, according to a Charlottesville Police Department release. A shelter in place advisory was issued for the immediate area and a perimeter was established. 

At this time, University students received the alert that officers were responding to gunshots at the scene near Emmet Street — about two miles away from central Grounds. The suspect was described as wearing a black jacket, red shirt, backwards hat and tan pants. No University connection was reported.

Soon after, Sites fled to a populated parking lot. The Albemarle police department’s tactical team followed, unsuccessfully attempting to detain the suspect with less lethal force. Sites then pointed his firearm at officers, who responded by shooting the suspect.

Sites was taken to U.Va. Medical Center, where he died from injuries sustained in the shooting. 

A heavy police presence stayed in the area for the coming hour but the scene remained contained, according to a second community alert sent at 11:41 p.m. The University did not enforce a shelter in palace order due to the distance of the incident from Grounds. The scene was then labeled stable — per a third community alert sent at 12:22 p.m — but police presence continued.

Site’s criminal history includes a 1999 conviction of sexual battery, a 2013 conviction for failing to register as a sex offender and a 2018 felony drug possession charge along with two counts of grand larceny.  

This report follows four other gun-related incidents in Charlottesville this year. The first injured a juvenile male Jan. 23. The second resulted in the injury of a 30-year-old female Jan. 24. The third fatally wounded a young man Jan. 28. Additionally, a community alert sent Jan. 16 notified University students of a shots fired incident at Cherry Street and Hanover with no injuries reported, and a Feb. 17 alert involved a Runk Dining Hall employee brandishing a weapon before fleeing the premises. 

City Police Chief Michael Kochis held a community forum Monday night to address the recent increase in gun violence, featuring comments from local residents.

​​Community alerts are shared via email to the University community when there is timely information about a threat that can be released to the community without compromising any ongoing investigations. Timely warnings are issued when there is an ongoing threat to the community. 

The public may opt-in to receive emergency alerts by texting “UVA” to 226787.


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