The officers who shot India Beaty, who were staking out a parking lot in Norfolk when she pulled the realistic replica Beretta 92 tell an entirely different story.
Police were staking out an Ocean View parking lot early Saturday morning when they saw a woman not involved in their investigation pull a gun on an unarmed man, the department said.
They confronted her, and ultimately shot her.
It turned out that 25-year-old India Beaty had a non-firing replica handgun. She died at the scene.
“Any loss of life is tragic,” Norfolk police Chief Michael Goldsmith said in a statement.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Beaty’s loved ones, and we appreciate the public’s patience as we continue to investigate.”
McKinley Beaty Sr., India Beaty’s father, and her sister, Kendra Beaty, said Saturday that they don’t believe India had a gun. Her father said he didn’t even know she owned one.
“She’s very smart, very intelligent. I don’t believe she was brandishing a weapon,” her sister said.
If India Beaty did have a replica handgun, her family said she wouldn’t have threatened police with it.
“Her automatic reaction would have been to drop and say ‘it’s not real.’ She would not have gone to jail over a toy gun,” her sister said.
Beaty was an aspiring rapper who was tough but tender, and was turning her life around, according to her family.
Her death is the second to rock the family in recent years. Her brother was shot and killed in a KFC parking lot in Duplin County, NC, in 2014.
As a general rule of thumb in polite society, you do not pull a weapon on another human being in the course of an argument. If you do breach the law and pull a weapon on another person in what was until then merely a verbal confrontation, you are more than likely committing a felony. A uthorities and legally armed citizens may intervene on behalf of the unarmed victim, especially if you pull your gun on another person in front a police van that people noticed was in the parking lot on stakeout more than three hours earlier.
In the event that numerous officers pile out of a nearby vehicle like it’s a clown car, the only semi-intelligent act is to immediately comply with officers telling you to put the weapon down.
If you refuse to comply after the officers draw down on you, and then move your weapon in a “threatening motion,” the officers (or other lawfully-armed citizens who may find themselves in a similar situation) can and will discharge their weapons to protect their lives, the life of the victim, and the lives of innocent bystanders.
It’s a shame that Ms. Beaty refused to listen to officers and then acted aggressively with her realistic fake firearm, but when she did, the outcome was predictable.