EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHUNTINGTON SHOOTING UPDATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Huntington Police Chief Says Officer Saved Life Of Security Guard
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Dec. 22, 2012 9:50 AM EST
Updated: Dec. 27, 2012 4:09 PM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook says Officer Stephen Fitz shot Joshua Emerson four times because he was wielding a knife at a security officer. Emerson died. Holbrook told the Herald Dispatch, "Im convinced that he more than less saved the life of that security guard."
Emerson's friends and family believe excessive force was used. Emerson's Facebook page shows a photo with him and his children. One post says, "Rest in peace Daddy, we will always hold you close in our hearts."
Eyewitness News has learned Emerson had a criminal past and spent time in a Tennessee prison allegedly for drug charges.
Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook is defending the actions of the officer that shot and killed a truck driver this weekend.
Holbrook said that officer Stephen Fitz, fired four shots, killing 32-year-old Joshua Emerson of Alabama.
According to a preliminary police report, Fitz intervened when Emerson attempted to attack a security guard with a knife.
Fitz joined the force in 2007 and has 18 years of military service. He is currently on paid administrative leave.
The Huntington Police Department released the name of the officer involved in a fatal shooting.
Police said Officer Steve Fitz shot and killed Joshua Emerson, 32, of Hamilton, Ala
Fitz fatally shot Emerson during an incident between Emerson and a security guard working at the Special Metals Plant, police said. The shooting occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday at a gravel lot near the Wickline Bridge.
Police said Fitz fired four shots, and Emerson was struck four times.
Jewel Helms, Emerson's girlfriend, was in the tractor-trailer when the shooting happened. Helms said, "He didn't have to shoot him that many times. He could've shot him in the leg or tased him. He didn't have to shoot as many times as he did to kill him."
An internal investigation is being conducted.
The Huntington Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau and the Cabell County Sheriff's Office are investigating a fatal shooting involving a Huntington police officer.
Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook says the officer was on patrol in the 3200 block of Riverside Drive around 1 a.m. Saturday when he saw what appeared to be a crash involving a tractor trailer truck and a small vehicle in a gravel lot near the Wickline Bridge.
When the officer got out of his cruiser, he was confronted by 32-year-old Joshua Emerson of Hamilton, Alabama who was allegedly armed with a knife. A security guard who was working at Special Metals was also on the scene.
The officer says the man tried to attack the security guard with the knife, and that's when he shot several rounds from his gun. The officer struck the suspect, killing him.
The name of the officer has not been released at this time.
Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for the latest on this developing story.
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