This past January that scenario played out at the Chesapeake, Va., home of 28-year-old Ryan Frederick, a slight man of little more than 100 pounds. According to interviews since the incident, Frederick says when he looked toward his front door, he saw an intruder trying to enter through one of the lower door panels. So Frederick fired his gun.
The intruders were from the Chesapeake Police Department. They had come to serve a drug warrant. Frederick’s bullet struck Detective Jarrod Shivers in the side, killing him. Frederick was arrested and has spent the last six weeks in a Chesapeake jail.
He has been charged with first degree murder. Paul Ebert, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, has indicated he may elevate the charge to capital murder, which would enable the state to seek the death penalty.
The raid in Chesapeake bears a striking resemblance to another that ended in a fatality. Last week, New Hanover County, N.C., agreed to pay $4.25 million to the parents of college student Peyton Stickland, who was killed when a deputy participating in a raid mistook the sound of a SWAT battering ram for a gunshot and fired through the door as Strickland came to answer it.
So in the raid where a citizen mistakenly shot a police officer, the citizen is facing a murder charge; in the raid where a police officer shot a citizen, prosecutors declined to press charges.