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Cop cleared in fatal shooting of man with 'severe mental illness'

County attorney said the officer was 'completely justified' in shooting the man, who stabbed the cop's cruiser repeatedly


By Laurence Hammack
The Roanoke Times

ROANOKE, Va. — After Donald Barry Minter pulled a hunting knife at a Kroger supermarket, after he charged police officers in the parking lot, after he led them on a high-speed chase, after he swung his knife once again when stun guns failed to stop him, a Martinsville police officer had no choice but to shoot him dead.

That was the conclusion released Monday by Henry County Commonwealth's Attorney Bob Bushnell. In a detailed, five-page chronology of the events of April 29, Bushnell wrote that Officer Douglas Graham was "completely justified" in shooting Minter. The decision also explained how Minter, a 61-year-old former lab technician for the city of Martinsville, was driven to his death by severe mental illness.

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