RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Following a series of incidents, in which officers in Richmond and Henrico, Virginia, were allegedly shot at, resulting in arrests, one retired cop is speaking out about the dangers of drawing weapons at police.
Former Richmond Police Officer Cheryl Nici-O’Connell told 8News she has experienced the trauma firsthand.
“They call me miracle girl,” Nici-O’Connell told 8News’ reporter Sierra Fox on Friday.
Nici-O’Connell revealed that she was shot in the head while on-duty in 1984.
“Nobody expected me to survive after being shot at point-blank range,” Nici-O’Connell said.
Fast forward to Friday, police in Richmond and Henrico announced the arrest of multiple individuals charged with shooting at officers. Jerad Wyche and Niggi Harris remain behind bars after being accused of firing shots at detectives in an unmarked vehicle in Richmond’s Mosby Court early Friday morning.
According to police, one detective was taken to the hospital with minor injuries sustained from broken glass.
In Henrico, police said Juane Lewis was arrested and charged with attempted capital murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Investigators revealed that Lewis was asked to drop his weapon and instead he fired shots at an officer in the area of Harvie Road and Reynolds Road around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday.
No one was hurt.
But the acts of violence toward police officers is still a cause of concern for Nici-O’Connell.
“Yes, police officers know there’s a risk involved when they take the job, but just like everybody, we never think we’re going to be the victim of a violent crime,” she said.
Following the shooting incident, Nici-O’Connell is pleading for the violence in RVA to stop. She adds that while the climate between police and residents remains tense, now is as good a time as any to work together and bridge the gap.
“Those bullets that were fired at the officers were fired at the entire community,” she said. “Because they were trying to get rid of, to kill, your protection.”