A handful of people supporting the officer involved in the fatal shooting of a Kazakh national stood outside City Hall on Saturday holding signs backing him.
They said they felt judgment was being rendered against Officer Stephen D. Rankin before an investigation of the shooting is complete.
“This is a good officer who’s proactive, who cares about his community,” said Larry Gump, who organized the event. “I just felt like he was getting really beat up heavily and somebody had to come out here and show some support.”
Kirill Denyakin died April 23 after he was shot 11 times by Rankin outside an apartment on Green Street where Denyakin was living. Denyakin was unarmed and highly intoxicated; police said he put his hands near his waist and charged at Rankin, who was responding to a burglary report.
Virginia State Police are investigating the shooting. A civil lawsuit was filed against Rankin asking for $22 million.
“I support Steve Rankin,” said Mike Siniscalchi, who joined the group at City Hall. “The men and women of this Police Department do an excellent job with maintaining quality of life here in this city, and Steve Rankin is one of those individuals.”