Norfolk man challenges why a police officer shot him

Norfolk, Va.- Marius Mitchell says he still doesn t know why a Norfolk police officer shot him in January 2013 along Hampton Boulevard.

The 31-year-old father of five faces three felonies in the case. A police officer shot Mitchell after he tried to steal the officer s car and dragged him with it, according to police. Mitchell says the story isn t true.

There was no crime being committed, he told NewsChannel 3.

Mitchell was a passenger in a car on his way to work on January 29, 2013. When the car pulled into a 7-Eleven parking lot, an unmarked police car followed them. Mitchell says a man came out of the car with a gun drawn.

He didn t realize it was a police officer and ran away from the scene.

The officer followed him. Eventually, they circled back to the 7-Eleven. I had no destination.

I was just running from this guy with a gun and I didn t know where I was running, he said.

What happened next still isn t clear. Police say Mitchell tried to steal the officer s car and the officer tried to stop him. At some point he s pulling away.

At some point, he puts the car in drive and goes across the parking lot, dragging the police officer, said Chris Amos, a Norfolk spokesman at the time.

Mitchell says he never moved the car and isn t sure how it got moved from where the officer originally parked it. He admits, though, to running up to it. I see the vehicle.

I could either take off running or is anybody in that car, so I can ask for help?

The officer caught up with him and started shooting. Police say the officer feared for his life. The Commonwealth s Attorney later found the use of force was justified.

Mitchell says he wasn t armed, had his hands up, and believes the whole thing was racially motivated.

I believe it was a profiling thing. Really, he had no reason to shoot me or pull us over. The car was originally stopped for suspicious activity, according to police.

NewsChannel 3 questioned Mitchell as to why his story is credible.

I would have an explanation for it, but there is not explanation for something that didn t happen. I don t have an answer for the hypothetical.

Mitchell is charged with three felonies: eluding police, grand larceny, and malicious wounding. The case went to trial in October, but the jury couldn t agree on a verdict, so the trial was declared a mistrial.

It will go to trial again in April with the Suffolk Commonwealth s Attorney s office overseeing the case.

The Norfolk Commonwealth s Attorney s Office is not involved in the trial because the office oversaw the legal review of the officer s actions.

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