LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – The Commonwealth’s Attorney in Lynchburg has released their determination regarding the police shooting on Park Ave in September involving a woman who was also involved in an officer-involved shooting back in May of 2023.
According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Bethany Harrison, officer body footage, Ashley Briggs Neeley’s medical records, 911 dispatch records, and statements from people involved in the incident were reviewed to make the final decision.
“Based upon the law and the evidence in this matter, it is my opinion Officer Donellan’s actions amounted to a justifiable use of deadly force and no criminal charges are warranted.” – Bethany Harrison, Commonwealth’s Attorney in Lynchburg
Around 9:08 a.m. on Sept. 27, a 911 call was received claiming Ashley Biggs Neeley was allegedly chasing a man around with a knife on the 2100 block of Park Avenue. Once on the scene, responding officers found Biggs-Neeley at a bus stop and attempted to speak with her. Biggs-Neeley allegedly refused to comply with police commands and instead reached into her bag and began to brandish a long knife. Attempts to de-escalate the situation were made, but the Biggs-Neeley allegedly “stood up and advanced” toward the officers. One officer then allegedly discharged a taser and another officer allegedly fired their handgun, hitting Biggs-Neeley in the head, including Officer Donellan and Ashley Biggs-Neeley as well as statements by other officers at the scene.
According to the investigation, Officer Donellan fired one round, hitting Neeley on the right side of the head near her ear. The wound was non-life threatening. Biggs Neeley then fell to the ground and dropped the knife. LPD officers then started to give medical aid to Biggs Neeley until medical responders could arrive on the scene.
Officer Donellan stated that he shot Ashley Biggs Neeley after she took out a long knife and ignored repeated commands to drop it. He and the other officers involved in the incident stated they believed their lives were in danger, which led to them opening fire.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney says states the body cam footage will not be released and that Ashley Biggs-Neeley is facing criminal charges in the future.
WFXR News will continue to provide the latest updates as they become available.