Investigators Release Information on Weapon Discharge in Downtown Berryville

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations is investigating an incident involving the discharge of an officer’s service weapon by an officer of the Berryville Police Department. In accordance with Berryville Police Department policy, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations was called to the scene to investigate the incident.

On the evening of April 20, 2011, units of the Berryville Police Department were summonsed to the 100 block of West Main Street in the area of the Subway restaurant in the town of Berryville, Virginia.  The initial call reported that a stabbing which had occurred.   Upon arriving on the scene, Berryville Police Officer Daniel Morozewicz observed 2 male subjects in the parking lot area of the Subway resturant.   One of the male subjects, later identified as Jason McCarty, age 35, of Berryville, had suffered an injury to his arm or hand and was bleeding.   Officer Morozewicz also observed that a second male, later identified as William Tommy Painter, age 58, of Berryville.  Mr. Painter was standing at the edge of the parking lot and rear driveway of the property located at 116 W. Main St.   Officer Morozewicz stated that Mr. Painter appeared to be enraged, with clenched fists, and possibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.   Upon making these observations, Officer Morozewicz approached Mr. Painter and he attempted to flee from Officer Morozewicz towards the rear porch area of 116 W. Main St.   Officer Morozewicz gave chase and caught up with Mr. Painter in the rear porch area of the residence. Mr. Painter had obtained a metal object and began striking Officer Morozewicz in the upper body causing him to retreat.   In self defense, Officer Morozewicz drew his issued firearm and discharged a single round.   Mr. Painter was not struck by the bullet.   Mr. Painter initially fell to the ground, but then regained his stance and struggled with several other officers that had arrived as backup. Officers had to utilize chemical and impact weapons in order to take Mr. Painter into custody.   Officer Morozewicz sustained visible injuries to his forearm which did not require medical treatment. Mr. Painter was treated on the scene for minor injuries not associated with the discharge of the service weapon.

Mr. Painter was charged with Felony Assault and Battery of a Law Enforcemnet Officer by the Berryville Police Department and has been released on a $5000.00 secured bond.

Jason McCarty received medical attention at Urgent Care were he was treated and was released on the date of the incident.

Officer Morozewicz has been reassigned to administrative duties since the incident in compliance with the policy of the Berryville Police Department.

The investigation into the incident is still active and no further information is available for release at this time.

Comments

  1. RasputinSays says:

    So what are they saying? The officer was defending himself and attempted to shoot Mr Painter and missed?

  2. Self defense is one thing, but officers have other options than their guns. Pulling the trigger (be it at the target or an unintended innocent bystander) should be the very LAST resort.

    • Mr Mister says:

      Last resort is right, but it seems he was not dealing with a compliant individual. He was swinging a pipe at the officer. (Redacted)

    • How do you know it wasn’t a last resort? He was hitting him with a metal object for crying out loud!

  3. virginiacop says:

    A very reasonable and appropriate response by the officer. Good job Officer Morozewicz!

    A metal object is a deadly weapon.

    Shooting at the range is not the same as encountering combative subjects, running in a full on chase, with a vest and gear, fighting a drunk, getting hit with a weapon and then attempting to draw and fire.

    The officer showed incredible restraint in the fact that he re-assessed the situation after his one shot and did not shoot again.

    I’m disappointed that the Commonwealth Attorney could not secure a more appropriate bond. In my jurisdiction that guy would still be in jail and would be there for a long time.

    • notaredneck says:

      what is it that people don’t understand about a non-compliant, aggressive individual displaying characteristics of intoxication who has already stabbed someone being a real and dangerous threat to everyone, including a police officer? how can you know he doesn’t still have a knife or other weapon on him? this individual refused to comply with any type of direction from the officer and continued to come at him and whack him with whatever he was using (even a broom handle can cause serious damage to a human body); ask any emergency room doctor or nurse. if the suspect would have further injured his step-son, himself, or anyone else, some of you would be clamoring that the officer didn’t do enough. oh, and whomever mentioned the officer’s service overseas forgot to say, “Thank you!!”

  4. in response to what “virginiacop” posted the article says “appeared” to be under the influence-not that he was you only know what the article tells you and most of the time that isn’t the whole truth so dont be disappointed with anyone

    • virginiacop says:

      Being drunk in public is a class 4 misdemeanor, the penalty is a fine and no bond would be needed.

      On the other hand, assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon is a class 6 felony. A $5000 bond is pathetic, and yes I am disappointed.

      • So you’re saying if this happened in, say Purcellville, the bond would be higher, for assaulting an officer?
        He was drunk, but the attempt to assault must be the Ace in the hole.

        Let’s remember, innocent until proven guilty.

  5. IT WAS A CHEAP KITCHEN MOP and not a “Deadly Metal Pipe” the officer already had his gun out or ready to be drawn and within seconds fired it at Tom at a range so close he is said to have received gun powder burns on his face and neck. I guess this Officer Hero was lucky it was not a wooden mop or even a sturdy broom, because they may have had to get the SWAT TEAM to deal with something as dangerous as a Kitchen Mop. This [redacted] has a tazer and pepper spray but is ready to kill a man over a kitchen mop? Looks like he needs some training.

    [redacted]

    • Who do you think you are? says:

      First of all, Berryville Police Officers are NOT armed with tazers. Many of them are trying to have this changed, but currently they are only armed with pepper spray, an asp or baton, and a firearm. Secondly, I know the officer personally and can report that he was never FIRED from the Winchester Police Department! Get your facts straight before you go around spreading hateful gossip. Mr. Painter broke the law BEFORE Officer Morozewicz got there when he stabbed his step-son! The officer was only doing his job and risking his safety to take care of the issue at hand before Mr. Painter harmed anyone else. We should all be incredibly grateful that there are men and women out there willing to risk their lives to protect our community. It absolutely SICKENS me to know that there are people out there who spread rumors and lies and assume the police are at fault in this matter. It is absolutely ridiculous. A Virginia State investigation was done and it’s findings have been reported. This is NOT a Berryville “cover up” and I sincerely hope that all of this nonsense ends soon. Thank God the officer, Mr. Painter and his step-son are alright.

      • valerie says:

        Disregarding any rumors about the officer’s past or character, I just want to know the facts behind the shot fired. I’m not assuming that the police are at fault or covering up, but there is still in fact some question about what happened, even with the official reports.

        [redacted]

        Of course he was only doing his job and of course he was risking his safety – that’s the nature of the beast. However appreciative the public is for police officers and their potentially hazardous line of work doesn’t negate the responsibility of carrying and using a firearm in a populated area. You know the saying, with great power comes great responsibility? People have a right to know what actually happened.

        • valerie says:

          Well, CDN redacted the link I posted.

          Can I say, a local paper has published a story detailing the differences between the Court documents and the VA State Police report…

    • Since you seem to be so close to the case, Buck, can you please enlighten us all as to why Tommy was stabbing his stepson?

  6. valerie says:

    Thank you Buck. Glad someone is speaking with the sense here.

    Anything can be classified as a deadly weapon, depends upon the action behind it. While no one should assault a police officer (or anyone else for that matter), cops have pepper spray for a reason – namely out of control drunk people!

    The reason this worries me is not because the officer was protecting himself, it’s because a shot fired randomly on Main Street, during the same time of evening that I walk my dog with my family, shouldn’t be taken lightly. A number of things could have gone horribly wrong in this situation.

    • Mr Mister says:

      Or the guy waving the cheap broom stick could have pierced the officer’s kidney. You play with fire you get burned. We, the public, have no right to wave anything at an officer of the law, period. If you feel you are being wrongfully accused or harrased there is a system for that. This guy was lucky that day.

  7. To the residents of Berryville: It appears to me the “metal pipe” Officer Morozewicz was supposedly struck with, in reality was a MOP HANDLE. Please use caution when shaking your mop on your front porch or in your yard because apparently that warrants the use of deadly force by this officer. Hmmm…..

    Remember Officer Morozewicz you are not back in the Middle East dealing with the Taliban you are here in the USA & you are being paid by the Berryville residents to protect & serve the citizens of this community. The truth will come out eventually.