'Tragedy': Families question police shooting of Crozet man

Gregory Allen Rosson, 21, lay dead in a yard along U.S. 250 on Afton Mountain for about nine hours after he was shot early June 8 by Albemarle police, according to a witness. "They didn't have to kill that man," says the resident, in whose front yard the shooting took place.

Albemarle police responded to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance at 2:16am Saturday, June 8, according to a release from Virginia State Police, which is investigating the incident, the second county police shooting in two weeks.

Police say an officer arrived on scene and saw a female being assaulted outside the residence. Rosson ran towards the officer, who fired his weapon, according to the release, which does not mention whether Rosson was armed. At 2:32am, dispatch records show emergency responders received reports of a gunshot wound.

U.S. 250 in western Albemarle, also known as Rockfish Gap Turnpike, was closed from Route 151 to the top of Afton Mountain until noon. The officer who killed Rosson is on administrative leave, and that's about all the information police have released on the incident.

Family and friends say Rosson recently had been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder following another encounter with police December 9 at the Supertest gas station on Rockfish Gap Turnpike, in which he was charged with assaulting law enforcement officers.

"He was murdered by Albemarle County Police," says the father of the woman who allegedly was involved in an altercation with Rosson when the 911 call was made. He spoke to the Hook on the condition that he and his daughter not be identified.

The father says he awoke to the sound of gunfire right outside the bedroom of his mobile home on Rockfish Gap Turnpike. "It sounded like pop, pop, pop," he says.

"All I saw was that cop standing over him with a flashlight," says the father. "Greg was already dead. They shot him in the chest."

He says police moved Rosson from near the road into the yard and attempted CPR. And then for hours, Rosson remained on the ground, he says.

"It started to rain and [investigators] got in their vehicles, says the father. "He's laying out here uncovered. Not only did he get degraded in life, he got degraded in death, too."

The resident at the scene says he was angry about what happened with his daughter, but adds, "He didn't deserve to be killed. They knew he had a mental problem."

The father says he doesn't know who called 911, and he doesn't understand why police didn't wound Rosson or use a stun gun. "To me, it's lethal force," he says. "It's a tragedy."

Rosson was in the class of 2009 at Western Albemarle High School. He worked at a landscaping company, says his sister, Lauren Moore.

"He liked to hunt, he liked to fish, he liked mud bogs," she says. "He liked to hang out and have a good time."

She describes a "loving" younger brother who was her best friend and who was adored by her five-year-old daughter.

But Rosson also had experienced difficulties in his short life: He didn't speak until he was five, says his sister, and his father died when he was about 15.

She believes his problems began in earnest after a serious car wreck in December 2009. Rosson was in the hospital for weeks after he drove a Chevy Malibu into the Crozet Library, an incident in which he was charged with reckless driving.

Three years later on December 9, he was charged with four counts of assaulting an officer, one of trying to disarm an officer with a stun gun, obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, and drunk in public. All of those charges had been dismissed except for one assault and the stun gun charge, and Rosson had a June 11 court date, according to court records. 

"He was diagnosed with split personality in jail," says Moore. "Greg had a mental illness. He didn't even remember what happened when he woke up in jail."

Her brother had since seen therapists and was taking medication, she says, but something happened when he got angry. "When he gets mad, his alter [personality] kicks in," says Moore. "He had issues, but he's not a bad person."

She doesn't know what happened that night on Afton Mountain, but is convinced of one thing. "They didn't have to kill him," she says. "He didn't have to die."

Two days after the fatal shooting, state police released Rosson's name, but not the name of the officer who fired the fatal shot.

"We ask that you give us time to conduct these investigations," said a June 8 Albemarle police release. "It is imperative we focus on the facts and do not release any information that would disrupt the integrity of these investigations." At press time, neither Albemarle police nor Virginia State Police had responded to a Hook request for additional information.

Two days before his death, Rosson posted on his Facebook page, "I'm going to live my life to the fullest." Meanwhile, Moore mourns her brother, and her family is unable to plan for his funeral. "They haven't released his body yet," she says.

Correction June 11: Greg Rosson's diagnosis was misidentified in the original story.

74 comments

Sad all around mane

Moore says "Greg had a mental illness. He didn't even remember what happened when he woke up in jail" after the Dec 9th incident (public drunk, assault on police officer, attempting to grab weapon from officer, disorderly etc.), but isn't "not remembering anything" a very common side effect of, you know, being incredibly drunk?

It's how they roll. Today's police live in a culture of force protection and for the most part the only way they deal with "out of control" people is killing them. They never get in trouble for it and are always exonerated and lionized by their peers, so why not just shoot people?
C'ville Police are generally pretty professional and measured in their responses, but the county is another matter with a culture of macho aggressiveness. George Bailey would roll over in his grave if he could see what's become of his county....

If I were standing there and a man were charging me I would shoot him too. If he had mental problems his family should have gotten him help rather than let him run free and endanger other people.

Questions: Had the deceased been treated for his illness and required to attend treatment?

Did the Albermarle officer have Crisis Intervention Training? (CIT)

Does the general population understand that Mental Illness can be treated and that many interventions short of use of deadly force exist? For example, no weapon on the Deceased , why was a Tazer not used, too many questions, and the VSP will white wash everything that is the one fact for certain, they produce white wash everytime about Police-Mentally ill used of deadly force investigations...

Questions: Had the deceased been treated for his illness and required to attend treatment?

Did the Albermarle officer have Crisis Intervention Training? (CIT)

Does the general population understand that Mental Illness can be treated and that many interventions short of use of deadly force exist? For example, no weapon on the Deceased , why was a Tazer not used, too many questions, and the VSP will white wash everything that is the one fact for certain, they produce white wash everytime about Police-Mentally ill use of deadly force investigations...

BBJ, exactly why you should not be in law enforcement.

Is getting out of your mind drunk and beating up girls really living life to the fullest? It is a shame he can't say, "Look what I accomplished with my life!" I think the police officer who shot him had every right to defend himself. Mental illness is often made worse by heavy drinking. It is a shame his family could not help him.

Did he have a deadly weapon when he came at the officer? If not, there was no justification for deadly force.
Advocates of gun control often say the police should be the only ones armed. Incidents like this go to prove the fallacy of that statement, that we'd be safer. Only triggerhappy cops to worry about.
Reminds me of an old Phil Ochs song "I Kill, Therefore I Am", with the line "he's got a gun and he's a hater/he shoots first.he shoots later."
Recall a similar incidenta few years ago when someone with a garden tool alledgely was threatening police and was shot dead. How hard would it have been to toss a tear gas canister at his feet if you didn't want to approach him.
One wants to support our LE people in their often thankless and dangerous job, but incidents like this make it hard.

Who cares if he had a weapon when he came at the officer..bottom line is DON"T GO AT A POLICE OFFICER!!!! The individual had a long history of violence towards police officer and trying to disarm police...you reap what you sow. People are so funny...everybody is up in arms over Dumhler and "violence towards women" but this man was beating on a woman and goes at police but everybody wants to throw a boo who party..not me.

"How hard would it have been to toss a tear gas canister at his feet if you didn't want to approach him."

Um, pretty hard, actually, since cops don't arrive at domestic disturbances with canisters of tear gas hanging from their belts.

Hollowboy writes, "Recall a similar incidenta few years ago when someone with a garden tool alledgely was threatening police and was shot dead."

When, where, links to factual citation?

He was BEATING someone he "loved!" Just imagine what he would be capable of doing to someone he didn't like/have any respect for! The cops knew it took multiple law enforcement officers to try and restrain the guy during an earlier episode, and I am sure the cop didn't have time to check him for weapons or do a mental evaluation on him when he was charging at him. I have no problem with the outcome, if the guy needed help he should have been in a facility somewhere getting it.

Just because he may not have had a weapon doesn't mean that in his state of mind he couldn't do some serious damage to the officer. He was obviously doing that to the woman he was beating and if it did take 6 cops to arrest him a previous time then I would assume one guy was not going to be a problem for him. Maybe he should have shot him elsewhere, but whose to say he wasn't trying to and with him running at him he may have accidentally hit him with a fatal shot. Sad he had to die, but I think the real blame lies in his actions leading up to that point.

Hoolarious, the pitchfork shooting took place in Albemarle County. I think there was 2 male officers and one female officer present. They did in fact shoot and kill him. Must have been 7 or 8 years maybe. Could have been longer.

2001, apparently--twelve years ago.

The toughest part of being a police officer might just be having to deal with the silly people above with no sense of reality.

"Did he have a deadly weapon?... Tear gas."

Deadly weapon? One punch, dead. Check...that would be a deadly weapon.

It doesn't matter whether he had a mental illness or not he was my family and the officer could've shot him in the arm or the leg he/she didnthav to shoot to kill him, and if he didn't have a weapon the officer could've tazered him its not fair too us that we lost a family member so these negative comments can stop we need time to grieve. I hope the officer gets fired he wasn't a bad guy he'd take the shirrt off his back to help anyine he will be grwatly missed by his family & friends.

This man was not failed by the police officer who apparently shot him in self-defense, but by his family, his school system, the mental healthcare system, and the criminal justice system. How is it that someone who was so seriously, violently mentally ill never got the help he needed to prevent a situation like this from happening? Why did his family not intercede when he was young? Why did the school system not identify his problems and work to get him help when he was a student? If he was just recently diagnosed after a violent episode (resisting arrest) then why was he back on the streets instead of institutionalized until his condition could be stabilized? Until our culture comes to grips with the violently mentally ill in our society - until we compassionately control and treat them - episodes like this one...and the shootings at Virginia Tech among many others...will continue to happen.

I guess many posters here just shoot from the hip, kinda like the police involved. Easy answers to tragic occurances, and yes, the Albermarle PD killed a mentally ill man who shook a pitch fork at them, and a Hunting law enforcement officer, shot and killed a 18 year old boy, who was driving a car in a stop 6 years ago.. there were lots of alternatives and NO OTHER LE present had drawn their weapon... Police and Other LE officers are to be respected AND TRAINED. I want to know if the officer who shot Rosson, had participated in Crisis Intervention Training? and if not, why was he sent to answer a DD call????? NOT GOOD police work- and EVAN makes good points that the system needs to be stronger towards protection of public and treatment of the mentally ill these are Concurrent and congruent goals, BOTH GOALS NEED TO BE WORKED TOWARDS>>>

Come on...trucheon? stun gun? tazer? hand to hand combat training? all alternatives. Cops use guns because they set themselves up to go there first, instead of as a last resort. Proper training and fitness should allow that the chances of a cop being seriously damaged by a drunken (or deranged) brawler are minimal. Instead we appear to have under trained or under supervised cowboys who shoot sick kids.

Cops used to be trained how to respond w out deadly force - show up in pairs (or more), get each other's back, etc. are they still? If these cops put themselves in a a situation where the only way they could prevent further harm to themselves or that woman was to shoot this guy its because they were unprepared and/or untrained for the moment - or because they were trained to do exactly what they did. Either way, its a shame. Remember "peace officers?" Well if you lifted your hand against them you would get the crap beat out of you, but they weren't so shy that they had to shoot you dead for trying to punch them. Its not a reasonable response, but we are getting used to it. scary.

Evan, it's attitude's such as yours that lead to situations such as this. You take a case of a man being shot to death by a cop and use that to call for more police meddling in people's business, more situations where they're trying to take someone into custody without charges, and think this is what is going to reduce incidents like this? Until our culture realizes that we live in a police state and not everyone who resists it is a criminal or a mentally ill person this will only become a feedback loop of fear, anger and violence between the people and the police leading to total martial law and civil war.

Kim... nice language... keeping it classy?

First of all, we don't know that the officer who answered the DD call was aware of who he was dealing with and that the perpetrator had mental illness or a history of violence against police. That is part of the problem, the police must assess and respond to a situation when they may not know all of the background. The officer arrives on the scene having been alerted to a domestic violence situation, sees a woman getting the crap beat out of her, then the perp charges at the officer, what would you do? Yell "Halt!" and ask for his driver's license, phone number, and whether he had taken his medicine? The perpetrator had a choice when the officer arrived - to stop the violence against his girlfriend and realize he was going to be arrested, or escalate the violence and attack the officer. The perpetrator made a very bad choice. An officer is supposed to protect the public (aka the victim of the assault) and protect himself. It was dark...did the officer know that the perpetrator didn't have a knife or a gun? Did he know for certain that this man was acting alone? And what if the officer knew the perpetrator had mental illness, did that make the assailant any less dangerous at that moment in time? We haven't heard whether the assault victim was seriously injured...if she died from the beating would you change your view of the officer's actions, or fault him for arriving on the scene too late? If the perpetrator had severely beaten the officer and killed him because the officer didn't defend himself, we would be calling the officer a hero.
And the father of the assault victim, where was he when his daughter was getting beaten right outside his window? Instead of defending his daughter, he is now defending this mentally unstable violent offender? What is he teaching his daughter, that she should take a beating and remain silent? If the perpetrator finished beating the girl before police arrived, he may have then gone on to attack her parents. The father should be thanking the police for arriving on a timely basis before it got any worse, instead of accusing them of wrongdoing.
Sad, sad, sad all around. But I'll give the officer the benefit of the doubt, and glad he arrived on the scene when he did before we had innocent victims in the morgue.

All of these negative comments about my cousin can end. Those who actually knew Gregory kew that he had problems & he was workin on them. He was such a sweetheart. He was always there to help someone rather they paid him or not. I couldnt tell yall how many times he came & got mee without gas money or anything. He wanted to have funn & be himself.. You cant fix an illness that personality disorder. He was always full of love , laughs & playing around. I will NEVER feel his bear hug , hear his goofy laugh with his goofy smile. I'll NEVER be able to wrestle with him or go hangout with him bc he was taken from our family WAAAYYYY tooo soon. He wasnt only my big cousin , he was my bestfriend as well. The last time I saw his smile was when him & the girl were at Sals Pizza eating in the corner. Its NOT fair & he WASNT a bad person. He didnt deserve to die. Soo how bout the negativity stay away bc the family doesnt need it. We're ALL hurt & yall are just heartless pple !! I love youu Greg. #R.I.P Greg. :(

The Cop Had NO Right To Shoot Greg To Kill Him. He Was A Big Dude But If He Would've Shot Him In His Leg Than He Would've Went Down. The Darkness Is NO Excuse. If You Cant Work In The Dark Than Dont Do Night Work. The Officer Had A Flash Light So Therefore He Could See. The Cop Was Very Very Wrong For Killing Our Beloved Gregory. In Gregs Mind He Probably Didnt Even Know It Was A Cop He Was Charging For. The Cop Needs To Be Fired With Charges Pressed On Him. Our Family Doesnt Need The Negativity And Hurtful Comments From You All. We Need This Time To Mourn An Amazing Person. Police Officers Took An Oath To Save And Help Us Not To Kill Us. Greg Would've Given You His Own Food If He Knew You Were Hungry. He Would've Given You His Last Dime If You Needed It. He Was Always There To Lend A Hand And Help With No Cost Asked. We Love And Miss You Gregory. Fly High And Watch Over Us. You'll Never Be Forgotten, Thats A Fact. <3

My other comments were deleted. I know Greg and know he also had a disabled brother whom he loved with his whole heart. And he was a great friend to many. People shouldn't pass judgment upon other people. God is the only judge anyone will face in the end. Including his girlfriend. I pray for healing for tjis family. We lost a loved one and you all can keep your judgements to yourselves.

I dunno about this one. So, they show up to a scene and witness an assault in progress and intervene. The assailant runs towards the officer. The officer shoots. They call emergency responders and attempt CPR. There's no practical place for them to move the body (nor is it advised to move the body from a scene). To me, this just seems like a very unfortunate incident. Does anybody know why emergency response was so slow? I wouldn't imagine any road closure would result in a 9 hour delay...

Can't be pro guns and shake your head at this one. Pro gun groups defend this type of action everyday. I guess people feel differently with it when it involves cops? Is that to say people think cops are more well trained than normal citizens? Does that then say normal citizens are not well-trained and shouldn't use guns? Maybe it also says that citizens should also use less lethal weapons to defend themselves?

Lots to think about when trying to make an argument on this one, right?

It is disheartening that so many accept the use of deadly force as the first response rather than the last alternative. What training do police have in nonlethal ways to subdue or restrain a combative individual.
Back some years ago, Sheriff W.A. Buntin of Rappahannock County, a retired veteran of years in the state police, was involved in a standoff with an individual brandishing a firearm at officers. Buntin disarmed the man, no one was harmed and no shots were fired. Now that is highcaliber LE!
I wonder what community response might be had the shooting victim been African-American, who have had a long history as victims of police violence. Still going on, not just the police, it was a Neighborhood Snoops vigilante that killed Trayyvon Martin!

An interesting pattern of posts from the vics family... which is to say no proofreading...no basic punctuation...nothing that would indicate they do anything but jump off the mark with an emotional response. And yet, they say he would give you the shirt off his back...as long as he was not beating up some female, or attacking police officers...

HIs family may miss him, but will the rest of the world?

As a father of a young man with mental illness, I have seen how such folks struggle at times. I totally support the encouragement for all involved officers to get Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) which gives police much better training and more options in responding to persons with mental illnesses. It has been proven in major police departments all around the country. I feel sad for the police officer who now must live with the weight of having killed a potentially unarmed person. And I especially feel sad for the family and friends of Gregory who have tragically lost this beautiful, but ill, friend.

+1 Earl.

There are no winners here, only sorrow. The deceased was very troubled but he was beating a woman and had a very violent record. We don't know what his actions that night after the officer arrived. The policeman may have been too quick to act or may have excerised his only option. We know very little about what actually happened- I am going to wait and see what comes out before point fingers. Anything else reveals more about the poster than this tragic event.

What if my autistic son who looks perfect would run at a cop would he becshot dead to? I shutter to think what would happen in a situation involving my son. And none of you have a clue about the woman that was involved. She was 15 yrs older than him and should have known better. No one on here has the right to judge anyone else. No one on here kniws the whole story. Regardless of his history or mental illness they did not have to shoot to kill. They could have shot him to injure. And Mr.Jimi Hendrix how would you feel if it were your family member? No one is perfect and surely you are no exception!

Anybody committing an assault is suffering some form of mental health disorder (whether diagnosed or categorized as as such). Why must we attempt to forgive everything? "Oh he's beating a woman—it's ok, he has a pass because he has a mental health problem." Why must we attempt to break everything down instead of look at the facts?

It's a very unfortunate incident, but negative actions lead to repercussions. I agree, guns are not the answer—for any of us. If we don't feel officers are trained enough for guns, then we could also say citizens are not trained well enough either. As "Pro Guns" mentioned, this type of defense is forgiven daily when enacted by citizens defending themselves. It was 2:30AM. The assailant ran towards a police officer who witnessed him committing an assault.

In situations like that, there's no time needed to think if somebody deserves a special privilege and should be treated differently for their actions. Folks with mental health problems need help from friends and family. But if friends and family don't intervene and can't keep others safe... Well then, this happens. Mass shootings happen. Please, please, please help those with mental health problems. But also understand that when they hurt others, they shouldn't be treated like their actions are acceptable.

So sorry for everyone involved.

To be clear, I don't think anyone deserved to die in this situation (or many like it). However, I also wouldn't assume that was the intention.

Colby Eppard II?

If I were living in Albemarle County I would be damn worried about the quality if LE, especially if a family member had a mental illness.

No matter the circumstances this is still someone's child. His Mother is the sweetest person ever so please have respect! She is a good Mother! Sorry for their loss of their chid!

There was only one who was perfect everyone has their own opinion and whatever your may be please consider the families loss regardless of right or wrong Greg was someone's son grandson brother uncle nephew and cousin not to mention friends to many people NOT knowing all the facts surrounding this tragic event please consider how harsh your words are to a family who did not deserve to have this young mans name slandered all over the media right or wrong a family is mourning the loss of someone who they loved regardless of his mental status ! Be respectful and until you walk in this families shoes don't judge them because God will judge you! Prayers to the family and I am truly sorry for your loss no family should ever have to cope with an avoidable situation such as this !!!! RIP Greg Rosson you are no longer suffering and are in a much better place than some of these people who are passing judgement on you ! Rest high in that mountain young man!!

Hi Someone. I did not state my case very well earlier. Yes, if a mentally ill individual is a threat to people around him then I do believe he should be held at a medical facility until a doctor is satisfied that his condition has stabilized. That is as much for the protection of the mentally ill person and his family as it is for society at large. The mentally ill suffer in ways we cannot imagine and as a compassionate society we owe it to them to help them get the assistance they need, and to protect them from themselves. You can be as eccentric and quirky and avant garde as you want to be as long as you are not a threat to others. This thread is full of posts from Mr. Rosson's family members and friends who are heart broken at his death. The police officer who shot him will have to deal with that pain for the rest of his life. All of this could have been avoided if he had been held and treated after his first violent interaction with law enforcement and subsequent diagnosis.

Dear Friends and Family of Greg Rosson, I am very sorry for your loss. I am sorry if my words contributed to your pain. I hope you can help each other heal. What happened is a tragedy, and sometimes this is just part of life. Remember that we all have a time to go and make each moment count!

Grieving people should be dealing with their grief, not reading comment lines.

Shoot to injure? I just dont get it, but simply assume that you have never actually tried shooting a handgun. Police can never allow an agitated, aggressive non-complaint individual to get within reach, because then it becomes a wrestling match or fistfight that invovlves guns. So if the aggressive individual continues to charge at an armed police officer the officer has no choice but to ensure that the person DOES NOT make contact with them.

You simply cannot, with any reasonable accuracy or consistency shoot a running person in the leg. They are required by policy and common sense to shoot center mass.

If my family member had a history of beating women and attaching police and no apparent impulse control I would be sad, but not blaming the lady getting beaten or the cop who was not being listened too.

I'm grateful I'm not a police officer, because I don't have to make instantaneous decisions in fear for my safety that others will sharpshoot on message boards for weeks afterward. Prayers for all involved.

What I am wondering myself is what is so important about them (the investigators) that they couldn't even give him the courtesy of covering up his dead body? He was a human being, like everyone else involved. Yes, he may have had problems with the police, but that boy did not deserve to die, regardless of the situation. Police are armed with tazers and mace for a reason, to detain, not kill. The situation as a whole is a tragedy in my opinion, and people shouldn't be criticizing his family for not getting him treatment when he was in therapy and on medication. Put yourself in his mother's shoes, she had to pick a casket for her youngest son to be laid to rest in. No parent should ever have to put their children in the ground. It is just a shame that he decided to live life to the fullest a day before his life was cut short. Greg was a good person, and most everyone that knows him can tell you that he would do anything in the world for you, even give you the shirt off of his back. My prayers and condolences are with his family, rest in peace Greg, you are missed.

Too bad the hook decides to delete certain comments. I guess my words weren't gentle enough. The rest of the ones on here with opinions about this tragedy who know nothing about Greg are allowed to give their opinion.

Hi Final Blessing - that is a very heartfelt and compassionate paragraph you wrote. I am sorry for his family - which is why I am so frustrated with the mental health care system in this country. I am also, however, sorry for the police officer, whom you seem ready to blame for this situation. It is not the officer's fault that a violently mentally ill individual chose to assault his girlfriend in the middle of the night. It is not the officer's fault that the assailant chose to run at or rush the police officer who was trying to save the life of the woman being assaulted. I understand your asking for consideration for the family - for asking that the family not be blamed - but neither should the family blame the police officer who was trying to save the life of the assault victim and protect himself and others from an out of control, violent mentally ill individual. Several people, yourself included, have posted about what a kind compassionate person he is, and that is what makes situations like this one so very difficult to deal with. I believe you when you write of his compassion and generosity - but that was only one part of the man. You cannot deny that part of him was out of control and violent. That part is what got him killed. I blame our mental health care system for that. He should have been institutionalized after his last violent outburst until the doctors believed he was stable. He would still be alive, his mother would not be choosing his casket, his girlfriend would not be healing from the injuries she suffered, and the police officer would not be left to deal with his own pain and grief. Until the day comes that we take mental health care seriously, violently mentally ill people like Mr. Rosson will continue to hurt their loved ones, themselves, and their communities.

If cops are going to continue this policy of shooting anything that moves, then can we please stop calling them heroes? They aren't putting their lives in much danger with this shoot-first method of fighting crime.

Evan,

Thank you for your kind response. I know there are a lot of details that have not been released by the police or family, but all that most people have been able to base their opinion on are these reports that he was some sort of animal and monster that needed to be, "put down." A lot of people don't consider the fact that he was someone's son, brother, nephew, uncle, he was a person like the rest of us. I am sincerely hoping that the personal knowledge of the situation I have, and the knowledge of the woman involved, comes to light, as that will be the only way that his name will be cleared. I do apologize if I seem quick to blame the officer involved in the incident, but I know that officers are trained to handle situations like these without the loss of life being involved, there is special training for it. I do agree with you, that the person that was with them on the scene that night was not Greg, it was his alter ego (personality), but he has NEVER beaten or abused ANYONE when he was in the right state of mind! I just hate that the media has distorted his image as a human being, making him to be some sort of drunkard that beat his girlfriend. I will say though, that I don't believe it was necessary whatsoever to shoot him in the chest, as a lot of other people have said, there were other ways to detain him. Yes, he would be sitting in a jail cell right now, but his family and friends would not be going through the heartbreak of never being able to see him again. I think all that the family wants is for Greg to be known as the person with a huge heart that he was, and for his name to not be slandered. You did, however, fail to touch on the main point of my initial post (no offense). Why was he left on the ground for so long? Why was he left uncovered for any passing by to see? That in and of itself is degrading, and I feel that every person at least deserves to be covered if their body is going to be left on the ground for 8 hours.

Evan, you say the mentally ill suffer in ways we can't imagine, and then in the next sentence you say how important it is that they get treatment and be protected from themselves. You even use the term "compassionately controlled". How about if they don't want to be "compassionately controlled"? Then what happens? The man with the gun and the uniform comes. If they've already been captured by the man with gun and the uniform, and they don't want to be "compassionately treated"? The men with the gun and the uniform come, wrestle you to the ground and hold you down while a psychotic nurse sticks a five inch needle full of Haldol or Thorazine in your ass and squeezes it into you. If you're lucky there won't be an amnesiac and a muscle relaxer for the electroshocks. You think you can be as eccentric and quirky as you want? You think people aren't treated in ways the Geneva Convention on Human Rights clearly and unequivocally define as torture on a daily basis in this state for their religious and political beliefs? They said I was mentally ill because I suspected the government was reading my emails, now that's old news. They said I was mentally ill because I oppose water fluoridation, a practice upon which hundreds of cities in America have imposed a moratorium. They said I was mentally ill because I protested on the street corner. (I'll show it to you in print - that's how arrogant and confident they are that they even write it down on the chart) They said I was mentally ill because I believe I took chelation supplements for a time after having my metal fillings containing mercury removed by a dentist. Be honest, does this sound more like a "threat" or more like quirky and eccentric? They forcibly drugged me before my hearing and told me "you are not to speak" when I tried to object to falsehoods being spoken under oath. If you'd like to get a better understanding of the mental health system you ought to go through it. I don't have to imagine, I've lived through and survived this holocaust but I don't assume they won't do this to me again at some point. Lou Reed got locked up, force drugged, and electroshocked because his parents thought he was gay. Christians from strongly non-Christian families are one of their favorite to prey on. Nobody has the right to accost you and take you to an insane asylum to be force drugged and electroshocked for your religious and political beliefs without charging you with a crime and if anyone attempts to do this, you every right to resist. Color of law is not Constitutional law or Divine Law.

Someone, it sounds like you have been through a lot. I sympathize with your pain and suffering, and I am sorry that you have been dealt this hand. I wonder, though, if you would like to sit down face to face with the family members of the children killed in CT this year - or the families of the dead and injured at the Va Tech shootings, and explain to them how wrong it is to legally detain the violently mentally ill? Where is the line between personal liberty and public safety? How would you feel if your child had been murdered by someone who was violently mentally ill - who exercised his personal liberty to refuse treatment, and chose instead to kill your helpless child? It is true that the mental health care system in this country was horrible and fraught with abuse and fraud, and this country chose to react by taking a "hands-off" approach. We need to find a rational middle ground. Please note I am saying "violently" mentally ill.
Additionally, what about the children and spouses who suffer abuse from their untreated violently mentally ill family members? Have you ever had the experience, as I have, of dropping a child off at their home knowing they were facing violence and abuse at the hands of a violently mentally ill parent the moment they walked through the door? And, yes, the school system and many others had repeatedly notified social services, but nothing was ever done, because the parent had the right to refuse treatment, and the children were too frightened to admit to authorities that the abuse was going on. So, despite the bruises, the abrasions, the broken bones...those children continued to live in hell. These are the results of a faulty mental health care system, and a flawed legal system. No, I do not want to go back to the dark days of brutality in mental health care - but it is time and past time that we as a society accept that sometimes it is necessary to detain against their will the violently mentally ill, until their doctors believe they are stable and ready to learn how to live peaceably in society.

Hi FinalBlessing, I really am so sorry for all of you. I imagine the shock is wearing off, now, and the real pain is starting to set in. I too have a violently mentally ill family member, and it has been a delicate balance all these years making sure that this person has the care they need. It has been exceptionally hard to make the choices that had to be made - curtailing that person's liberties, at time, to protect him and others around him. I do not have any answers for police procedure. I can imagine how disturbing it is to think of your deceased loved one laying on the ground for hours. Our instinct is, of course, to see that as terribly disrespectful. Perhaps law enforcement has a reason of which we are unaware. They do have a serious responsibility to investigate this shooting meticulously and with great care, out of respect for and in justice to Mr. Rosson and his family. Perhaps it was important to disturb the scene of the shooting as little as possible until the investigation could be started? That is just supposition on my part and may turn out not to be the case. Again, please accept my condolences. I know all too well that the violently mentally ill, like the rest of us, are neither all bad nor all good. It is good that he was so well loved, despite his illness. Many mentally ill people find themselves alone and without caring friends and family. Thank goodness, that was not the case with him. He was fortunate to have you as a friend.

After reading recent comments concerning the police officer involved shooting on Birdwood Court in the City, I feel compelled to share certain information. I have known this officer for most of his life and would like to share some pertinent facts as to his competence and good judgement.
Consider the following, this officer is a native of Charlottesville and at the age of 14 he began volunteering at the Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Dept., where he continues to serve. His volunteer Fire Dept. Hours are on top of his full-time service as an Albemarle County Police Officer.
Not long after graduating from Albemarle High School, he joined the U S Army where he would be assigned
to the 3rd Infantry Regiment, " The Old Guard," the elite command assigned for ceremonial duty in DC, including duty at Arlington National Cemeteray. Part of his assignment was a member of the security detail for then Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney. During his early Army career he also served a tour in Korea.
He completed his enlistment, came back into the civilian world, and became a paid firefighter in Horry County, SC. Eventually, he returned to his home area and began a career as an officer with the Albemarle County Police Department where he continues to serve with distinction.
This young man desired to continue to serve his country in addition to everything else he was doing, so he reenlisted in the Virginia ArmybNatinal Guard and later the US Army Reserves. In 2004 he was called to active duty for a 15 month mobilization to Iraq. While in Iraq he was attached to the First Cavalry Division. He was assigned to an Engineer unit that had the very dangerous job of route clearing. During one of these extremely dangerous missions his team was ambushed, with numerous casualties, including the death of fellow soldiers, as well as being wounded himself. He was transported to the "Baghdad ER" where his wounds were attended. After recovering sufficiently, he was returned to duty (even though he still carries shrapnel in his body) where he would complete a 15 month tour. He returned home with a Purple Heart.
In 2005 he returned to his job as an Albemarle County Police Officer and continued to serve with distinction. Also, during these years he and and his father would give weekends and vacation time to volunteer to do maintenance at the Virginia Elks Youth and Children's Camp at Millboro, VA. This camp provides a free week of summer camping for children from all over Virginia, including many with special needs. Inhonor of their efforts, at the recent funeral of his dad, the Virginia Elks recently named the camp Infirmary after his father.
This officer's benevolent spirit of service to his country, and community is also evident by his regular efforts in cleaning snow and ice from the side walks and driveways of elderly citizens in our city.
In 2008 he was once again recalled to active duty for a 12 month tour back to Iraq. During this tour he was credited with action which directly contributed to the saving of lives of his fellow soldiers. For this action he was awarded the Bronze Star. His combined military service is approaching the 20 year mark of honorable service. His exceptional military service could have opened several high salaried positions in the Defense Community, but his only goal was to get back to serving and protecting the citizens of Albemarle County as a County Police Officer.
Once back from Iraq, he continued his service with the Albemarle County Police Department. On numerous occasions he volunteeredvto represent the Albemarle County Police Department at the funerals for fallen Law Enforcememt Officers from all parts of Virginia. The US Marshals Service recognized his abilities by securing him and several other local officers to assist them from time to time with the apprehension of dangerous fugitives. He was recently decorated by the Albemarle County Police Department with an award of Valor for his participation in a life-threatening incident.
All of the above make it obvious that this officer has been exceptionally well trained, has faced with courage numerous life threatening situations, and has the intellectual and psychological skills to perform his job every single daynas a consummate professional. Our community is very fortunate to have such a dedicated and committed officer serving us with such a self-less spirit.
In addition to all of the anode, we would do well to remember that he is a family man with a wifeband two young sons who have also paid the price of his many long hours away from the family dinnetntable. This man's wife is an Albemarle County School teacher. They are already committed to travel to Guatamala this fall to work among the poor children of that nation.
The bottom line is that these are real people who have made the decision to make a differencevwith their lives.
Thamk you for this opportunity to share my thoughts to help put in perspective the type of people that are serving us each day in one if the most difficult and thankless jobs.

Sincerely, COL J P Jenkins, US Army (RET)
Charlottesville, VA

So many Iraq veterans trained to kill without hesitation, coming home to police you and your community. As if this is supposed to make us feel better. Evan, Newtown was an inside job they caught the police officer in the woods and released him never to be heard from again, go ahead call me mentally ill if you want, but the whole thing was a psy op and that is the truth. I don't support a control freak nanny state and never will.

I don't think he is a bad person. I do think with all that training and experience he should have been able to control the situation w out shooting that man. I bet he thinks so too and is going over it again and again. And its important to add that - I wasn't there, so I DON'T KNOW. My intention is not to "blame." Everyone involved in a situation has a role in the outcome of that situation; there are no independent actors in this world.

I think the job of a cop intrinsically involves putting oneself in harms way for the benefit of the doubt of society. tough job. incredible commitment. they deserve all honor for it.

From what I can gather it sounds like he was more concerned w protecting himself than with not killing a citizen. Happens all the time, but that doesn't mean its right. Cops need to be held to a higher standard of self defense in exchange for the power and authority we convey to them over the citizenry. maybe back to the "never shoot first" standard? again, tough job. if you do it right.

And its important to add again that - I wasn't there, so I DON'T KNOW. In time we may know more. compassion for all involved from all involved would be the best course.

If you have PTSD from the Iraq war, and you come home with a disillusioned patriotic anti war mentality the government calls you mentally ill, they send police to your house to take you and commit you to a mental institution, saying you're dangerously unstable and strip you of your right to own a firearm and many other freedoms you just went to war (supposedly) to defend. If you come home with PTSD and a wartime mentality to hunt down and kill any potential threat, however, and want to become a police officer, you're hired, issued a firearm, and then when you shoot an innocent American citizen to death on American soil in your disorderly state of mind the military comes rushing in to defend you and neither the police nor (most of) the community say anything of the need to lock YOU up in a mental institution and take your right to own a gun away forever. Hows that for a double standard?

Folks, "Someone" is John Giuliano, and if you know that name, you know you don't want to go down the black helicopters/psy ops/tin-foil-hats rabbit home with him. Just ignore.

Or how about this for a double standard: A guy has just been run at (and actually assualted, by more than one person) outside the Elks lodge. He draws his gun and fires in defense (supposedly what this cop was doing as well). A cop sees this happening and decides to shoot the man firing the gun, even though the gun was never pointed in the cop's direction. And he's still on the force, no less. So it's OK to shoot in self defense for any reason if you're a cop but if you shoot in self defense and aren't a cop you get shot immediately. And if you try what the cop at the Elks lodge tried, on a cop doing what the man being assaulted did, they'll give you the death penalty.

Did the police officer respond as a civilian police officer addressing a domestic dispute (as nasty as they can be) or did he respond as a soldier would to an Islamic fanatic running at him shouting "Allah Akbar!"?

Maybe after someone has been through the hell of Iran and Afghanistan it might be time to go into some other line of work other than law enforcement?

Should be "Iraq" above in place of "Iran". Just ahead of events by a few months.

He must not of hurt the B to bad she was out bragging bout she was the last one he saw and she didn't look too beat up to me. For someone to be out laughing carrying on like nothing happen after this Tragedy is mentally sick. Atleast he doesn't have to deal with that no more and is in a better place now.

So ashamed at some of the comments on here. How can someone down grade a man who was shot to death when he didn't even have a weapon he could've been tasered or shot in them leg or something its bs that he was shot to death then was laid out on there ground in them rain like trash while the cops stayed dry in there cars so sad anyone who knew greg knew that he would do anything for anyone if he could he loved his family like crazy its said his mom has to bury her baby boy because a scared cop took the easy way out cops shouldn't have the right to shoot to kill a person without a weapon its so sad and my thoughts and prayers are with Greg family I'll miss him every day and I hope they two people who dropped him off at his woman's house are feeling really guilty knowing how mad he was shame on you!

I agree with Evan. People like this guy, need to be in treatment. When you couple his mental issues with his body size, you've really got something on your hands. He and others like him are a great danger to the rest of society.

I feel for his family. However, you all couldn't handle him. What makes you think an outsider could? Don't make your relative sound like this perfect being. You were probably just as scared of him as his girlfriend was. We all have a person or two like this in our family. We all talk about them,laugh at them and try our best to avoid them. But, we often do nothing to help their situation.

CIT is no guarantee. Read up on it. Your'e living in a fantasy if you think it's going to work on everyone and in every situation. In this case, there was no time to use CIT. Did you really expect this officer to sit back and let this big old boy attack him?

To Someone,

Officers are allowed to shoot to protect members of the public. According to the newspaper accounts, the officer at the Elk's Lodge shot to protect a man. This man turned out to be the aggressor. However, the officer had no way of knowing this. The officer simply responded to an armed man, standing over a man on the ground and holding a weapon. Had the officer not fired, the evil one on the ground would likely be dead.

To You'll Never Be Forgotten,

What would you say if the officer shot him in the leg and hit the femoral artery? He would be shot in the leg and likely just as dead as he was with the shot in question.

I agree with Renee, stop treating the man like trash. Don't talk trash about him after he got shot to death by the police and say "we all have a person or two like this in their family who we try to avoid but do nothing to help their situation", well if anyone is I that person in my family it's me and if I was in your family I'd get as far away from you, or Evan, as I could because you're the weak minded naive control freak nanny types who would probably think "helping the situation" involved calling the police on your family when they upset your sensibilities and putting them, the police, and even yourself to a degree at risk of being shot killed, not to mention inflicting severe and permanent damage your family bonds if you all survive the helpful situation in one piece.

Someone, again, I am so sorry that you have to deal with mental illness. It is not fair, and our society does little to help the mentally ill among us. I am sorry that you think you would be better off far away from me, for the truth is that you would find me one of your best supports and greatest allies in your struggles. I hope you are able to find some kind of peace, and I hope you have a family and/or friends who love you enough to be there for you when you need them.

Evan, I'm not dealing with mental illness, I'm dealing with the sort of brutal tyranny folks like yourself are calling for while mixing it with loving soft speak to make it palatable when it is nothing of the sort. One of my best supports and greatest allies in my struggles. Your idea of peace is a jack booted thug with a thousand mile stare at my beside to wake up to with a tazer waiting to sadistically shock me once he has me on the ground and my arms cuffed behind the back and a needle full of poison and electrodes waiting for me at the asylum. You're a wolf in a mangy mottled ten year old sheephide. Get thee behind me Satan!

Anyone know that this month is Mental Health Awarenes month?? Rather than post a lot of ignorant, hurtful comments here about mental illness Please attend some of the events that Region Ten and other organizations like Mental Health America are sponsoring. The reporter too suffers from ignorance when composing this story, (There is no condition known as "Split personality" in the mental health descriptions. People with Serious, so called blood/brain disorders have conditions that cause them to perceive reality differently, and the cognitive ability and impulse control maybe seriously impaired by these conditions, Schizophrenia for example. Mental health disorders are for the most part, treatable, but not curable. Depression and Anxiety are the most common of MH diagnoses. Both are treatable, and seldom lead to distortion of perceptions that the more serious conditions do The deceased obviously had a very serious Mental health disorder, compounded by trauma from a car crash that may have included Traumatic Brain injury, which can severely impact judgement, and impulse control. Some of these posts strike me as being written from pure ignorance, some of them are just mean and full of fear. Find out what you might be afraid of when it comes to people with Mental Health disorders... Stop some hysterical responses and justifications of violence against mentally ill persons. Let us learn and support treatment.

intelligence over ignorance, I have a question for you. What do you believe our society should be doing? Do we continue to leave the violently mentally ill free in society with the freedom to eschew treatment? Do we hold the violently mentally ill in treatment facilities until the doctor believes they are well enough to release? Do we compel them to accept treatment? Things surely cannot be the way they WERE in the mid 20th century where cruelty and brutality abounded in the mental health care system; but neither can we leave them as they ARE now - where the violently mentally ill are basically left to suffer, untreated, and to sometimes become a threat to their fellow citizens. What do YOU believe the answers are?

Hello,

There seems to have been quite a few comments posted since my last visit. I do have a quick question for user COL JP Jenkins, US Army (RET). You were addressing the concerns about the officer involved at the shooting on Birdwood, correct? Your whole post has nothing to do with the officer that shot at Gregory Rosson? If I am correct, a lot of people are basing opinions and concerns from your sharing the information that this is the same officer, and that someone who is suffering from PTSD was the one that shot at Greg.

Final blessing, I agree with you on that one. I just want the ones on here to know that I attended the family night and funeral . This boy was greatly loved and if someone would report on that instead of making everything about mental health that would be nice. The family is continuing to mourn and will do so for a long time. I would love for you all to have known him and then formed an opinion. If you could have heard the oreacher speak of his character and yes he did frequently go to church. He believed in God and so do I and I choose to believe he is with him now. Do not judge , lest ye be judged is what the bible says.

Noone needs to judge. He was a great guy and a wonderful family member. People should be ashamed to pass judgement on someone already gone. U don't know the girlfriend, him, or anything about who he was. You tell me how the same girlfriend goes and gets tattoos of his name on her when she was beating? Talking about how good of a guy he is now that hes gone. Not to mention her disrespect toward the family. As for gregs condition it was being worked on, if he had the right girlfriend to support him better instead of antagonizing more this may not have happened. Not judging her just going by what I know. No it wasn't right that he was beating her. But he did not deserve to die. The officer had no right to shoot him several times. If he wanted to help her, he could've tazered him. Greg was loved by many and his family cant stand living their days without him. I loved him too. That being said no one has the right to say anything bad about him. You don't know him and he isn't here to defend himself. By the way his family cant help but read these comments because they are wondering what is being said in the news. Don't judge family either.