Press "Enter" to skip to content

Man dead after standoff with police at Red Roof Inn in Charlottesville

Police shot and killed an armed man who fired multiple shots near the Red Roof Inn in Charlottesville after a standoff on Tuesday.

Police say Billy Sites, 44, of Albemarle County was a wanted man with a criminal record who fled from an Albemarle County detective who tried to approach him earlier in the morning. Sites ran into a wooded area, firing multiple shots, before police confronted him in the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn shortly after 10 a.m., according to police.

“Negotiations broke down,” Charlottesville Police Chief Michael Kochis told The Daily Progress at a police command post near the scene of the shooting. “The Albemarle County Police Department attempted several times to use less lethal force, which was unsuccessful.”

Kochis said that at “some point during the encounter” Sites pointed his firearm at members of the Albemarle police department’s tactical team, at which point officers fired on Sites.

Sites was transported to University of Virginia Medical Center where he later died.

A shelter-in-place warning was issued for the area surrounding the Red Roof Inn at 10:57 a.m. and lifted at 12:27 p.m.

Kochis said a county detective earlier Tuesday morning had spotted Sites, “who was wanted in the area near the Red Roof Inn.” Kochis did not say what Sites was wanted for.

Sites has a long criminal history.

He was convicted of sexual battery in Albemarle County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in 1999 and given a six-month suspended sentence.

He was convicted in 2013 on a second offense of failing to register as a sex offender in Albemarle and given a two-year sentence with all but 10 days suspended.

In 2018, in Chesterfield Circuit Court, he received a six-month sentence after pleading guilty to a felony drug possession charge as well as misdemeanor petty larceny and giving a false identity to law enforcement.

Also in 2018, Sites pleaded guilty to two counts of grand larceny in Albemarle Circuit Court after being accused of shoplifting from a number of stores, including Lowe’s and Walmart. He was ordered to pay nearly $3,000 in restitution to the stores.

Just last year, Sites was slated to face trial in Nelson County on an array of charges in a 2017 home invasion and battery case. All charges were later dropped.

At least one eyewitness on Tuesday afternoon disagreed with the police’s account of the events that led to Sites’ death.

Joshua Lucas said he saw the confrontation between Sites and police from his corner room at the Red Roof Inn. Lucas, who was on vacation with his daughter, said he didn’t think Sites pointed a gun at police.

“He kept putting a gun to his head,” Lucas told The Daily Progress.

Lucas said he had been smoking a cigarette outside when he saw Sites approach the parking lot.

“I heard someone saying, ‘I’m going to be homeless anyway. I don’t f–king matter,’” Lucas said.

He said Sites appeared to be having a "mental health crisis."

Police arrived shortly after, Lucas said. According to Lucas, Sites said he wanted to get in his car and leave and that he would drop his gun. Sites began walking toward a Dominion Energy meter when police hit him with a “bean bag round,” a kind of projectile meant to disable a person but not kill them.

Lucas said he does not recall seeing Sites aim his firearm at officers. Instead, he recalled seeing Sites pick up the bean bag round before police fired on him and deployed a K-9 unit.

“He held [the bean bag round],” Lucas said. “Then they shot him, and that’s when the dog tore him up.”

Neither Kochis nor Albemarle County Police Chief Sean Reeves took any questions from the press on Tuesday afternoon.

Gun violence has taken the lives of 12 people and injured 21 others in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, according to a Daily Progress tally that includes Tuesday’s shooting. There have now been four shooting deaths in Charlottesville city limits this year, more than double the number this time last year.

Tuesday’s shooting was less than 24 hours after Kochis held a community forum on the recent rise in gun violence in the city.

The Charlottesville Police Department gets an average of one shots-fired call each day, Kochis said at the event on Monday.

Kochis has said city police are increasing patrols in hot-spot neighborhoods in the city and engaging more with community members. However, he has acknowledged that his department is understaffed, down a third of its force. The police department should have 110 officers, according to Kochis, but currently operates with just 81.

Kochis joined the Charlottesville Police Department on Jan. 16. Previously, he was the police chief for the town of Warrenton.


Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *