BRISTOL, Virginia (WJHL) – A police officer from Bristol, Virginia, was charged with murder in connection with a shootout involving a police officer on March 30, 2021.
According to a release from Bristol city manager and lawyer Randall Eads and Mayor Bill Hartley, a grand jury returned an indictment against police officer Jonathan Brown, “alleging several crimes”.
Court documents indicate that Officer Brown was indicted on charges of homicide, use of a firearm in the practice of homicide and malicious shooting in an occupied vehicle.
Brown’s bail was set at $ 25,000, according to court documents.
Brown’s accusations stem from the shooting death of Jonathen B. Kohler, which occurred near a motel at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Gate City Highway.
Virginia State Police previously reported that Kohler, 31, of Bristol, Tennessee, was shot dead after he refused to leave his vehicle in the motel parking lot and drove toward a police officer, now identified as Brown.
The statement said an internal affairs investigation was underway.
“This investigation was not conducted concurrently with the criminal investigation due to procedural issues that could have hampered the criminal investigation,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the investigation should be completed in 10 days.
Bristol City Circuit Court documents state that Donald Caldwell, Commonwealth attorney for the city of Roanoke, and members of his office are serving as special prosecutors in the investigation.
Officer Brown was suspended on payment after the shooting, which the statement says is the protocol.
On Tuesday, the release stated that Officer Brown was suspended without payment pending the outcome of the investigation.
“We do not tolerate, nor will we tolerate the unnecessary use of force by our police,” says the statement. “There is a time and place for the use of force, and force must be used sparingly and within the limits of the law.”
Eads and Hartley said in the statement that they would not make any further comments at this time.
This is a developing story. Check for updates at WJHL.com.