Breaking News:Dangerous Delays: What Washington State (Re)Teaches Us About Cash and Cannabis Store Robberies [REPORT]

Virginia Police Kill Old Man in Pill Raid

[Editor's Note: This year, Drug War Chronicle is trying to track every death directly attributable to drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at [email protected].]

Police in Hampton, Virginia, executing a search warrant for prescription pain pills shot and killed a 69-year-old homeowner after he fired on them inside the house. William Cooper becomes the 30th person killed in US domestic law enforcement operations so far this year.
According to the Daily Press Hampton News, police sought a search warrant after a confidential informant told them Cooper had sold methadone, Percocet, and "several other unknown prescription pills" from his home. Police executed the warrant just after 10:00am Saturday, forcing his front door open and entering the residence.

Hampton Police spokesman Jason Price said police identified themselves when they arrived at the house. "We did knock and announce our presence," he said. "It was not a no-knock search warrant."

A common police practice in executing warrants is to announce their presence with loud knocks on the doors and shouts of "Police!" or similar phrases, then wait a matter of seconds before breaking down the door, effectively making them knock and announce raids in technical legal terms only. Neighbors reported the police had forced their way in, and the door was visibly broken.

Price said there was an exchange of gunfire, with Cooper shooting first and the officers firing back. Cooper was pronounced dead at a local hospital an hour later.

Police announced Tuesday
they had seized four prescription pain pill bottles -- three of them empty -- and a number of weapons in the retiree's home. They consisted of one empty bottle of Oxycontin and three bottles of Oxycodone-acetaminophen (Percocet), with one containing pills. They also seized 16 other pill bottles, including ones containing drugs used for treating the symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Police also seized Cooper's wallet, $903 in cash, and his 2000 Lexus, as well as a vehicle title and "financial documents." They alleged the 11-year-old car was connected to the drug sales.

"We did locate evidence that supports the charge of distribution of illegal narcotics," police spokesman Jason Price said Tuesday. Police did not say whether Cooper had prescriptions for the pain pills.

But friends of Cooper said he used a cane, suffered from knee and back pain, and took lots of pain medications. Cooper complained that the drugs he was taking "weren't enough" for the pain, said Richard Zacharias, 58, a retired NASA employee who was renting a trailer home from Cooper. He also said that Cooper had poor eyesight because of cataracts and often slept late. Those factors might have caused him not to realize it was police in his home at 10:00am, Zacharias said.

But Price said police would continue to identify themselves as they moved through the home. "It's very obvious that we're the police," he said.

"It doesn’t smell right," Zacharias protested. "He wasn't real big, he wasn't real threatening." The police killed Cooper "in his own house, and that doesn't sit right with me," he said. "People around here sleep with a gun beside their bed because of all the home invasions we've had. The guy was a nice guy. The guy was a good guy."

The two so far unnamed police shooters are now on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation. But Hampton Police Chief Charles Jordan Jr. didn't see any need to wait for that. "The investigation thus far supports the actions of the officers," Jordan said Saturday. "They were met with deadly force and had no alternative other than to return fire."

Hampton, VA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Call me naive but what if the

Call me naive but what if the cops pick the old boy up for questioning and then execute the warrant ? Granted there is no adrenaline kick for them and no chance to shoot anyone or handcuff them face down on the floor but on the other hand there would have been no danger to those brave brave fellows whose sole reason for existing is to keep us all safe from horrible people like Mr. Cooper...


Yes, why not investigate peacefully and execute a seach warrent while questioning the homeowner? No time for hiding what the police are searching for if done in a timely manner.

Our police have developed an 'every man is dangerous' attitude that is killing law abiding Americans.

What neighbor turns in a 68 yr old man for having pain med available? I know for a fact that some generic versions of narcotics are not effective and over usage becomes the norm so an adequate supply to me may seem like to much to another. in addition some mail order pharmacies allow auto refill and if you use your narcotic judiciously, you end up with a surplus and a need to cancal further orders. Older people may forget to do so.

No death by cop is acceptable to me. Why not back off and try reasoning with the homeowner first? The individual who is simply scared into action will back down and let the police do their job. The truly bad guy won't. That is when the police are entitled to return fire and kill.

Nice. Gun down a half-blind,

Nice. Gun down a half-blind, pain-ridden old man in his own home over a bottle of pills, *take his car and money, and get a paid vacation.

 *There, i fixed it. 

As long as police find scripts, that's probable cause?

Just as long as I get this right.  A CI that has already been busted can accuse an elderly person of dealing, the police can kill him in his home and as long as they find pain pills, it's ok.  Wow.  Shame on us as a nation.  Power to the peaceful.

Nice grammar

"from him home" eh?




his house WAS being broken into -- by heavily armed, lawless thugs looking for an excuse to do violence. 

Human Prey

Funny how cops these days will find any excuse they can come up with to violate peoples homes and promote violence. They have the nerve to call us common folks "animals", and they justify all violence in the name of the law.

shedding tears......

If every human had access to the legal/illegal medications they needed legally......

If every human obtained their medications thru legal sources.....

Goal: to change the way we treat every human....with respect

Goal: to change the way we do business in regards to medications, legal and illegal

Goal: Your body; Your choice; be educated about legal/illegal medications...

Goal: Love your body; Love your mind; Love others, too, it's good for you.

Goal: To not read, hear, feel, or see anymore stories like this.

Goal: To keep pushing for a better system; who, on any side, wants to be in the middle of this mess.

Goal: To encourage Americans that we can figure anything out, even this.

Goal: Americans are worth it; And so is everyone else.

This is nothing new and will

This is nothing new and will not stop until all drugs are legalized and unrestricted. Our police are legalized thieves’ by the drug war. Our police are gangsters by the drug war. Our police small minded cowards by the drug war.

Stop the drug war!


I agree 100%

ALL drugs.

I don't sleep well

and this is a very big part of why , I just wait for them to break down my doors !  And accidently kill my wife and 2 children because Im a chronic pain patient ,That for a glorious 5 to 7 hours a day can work  to support us , I do hobble a lot and  have tears in my eyes on the way home from working . I can and do work ,and prayed for years to be able to do anything even for a couple of hours a day . To get out of the bed that I spend 16 to 20 hours in every day I would have been happy doing anything .  I just wait for them to write about me, We found empty pill bottles even though I don't sell or give or anything, I barely get by with what I get too help control it ,but it won't matter I'll be another dead victim of the Drug War .

End the War

Even the honest ones are confused

Having lived for 10 years in a small southern town I noticed that for them, words have different meanings than they do for the rest of us. ie: where we will hold a person responsible, they hold him reliable. I once had the opportunity to edit a speech for one of our three local officers. He was trying to raise funds for a K-9 officer, and throughout this speech the term "Drug use" was confused with "Drug abuse"! Now this was a very sweet guy, but he felt he had to phrase it that way for it to sound right.

There are also many doctors that can't tell the difference between dependence and addiction.

These are supposedly educated people that have swallowed the propaganda hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, and boat!   There are so many out there that need to be RE-educated. And much as I hate to think about this, I have to wonder if this poor old man was elliminated because they believed him to be a drain on the system, and used a convienent excuse to eliminate him.

You Cannot imagine what a

You Cannot imagine what a Police Officer goes through day to day and especially when there is a shooting involved; leathal force is not dictated by one party, would you let someone shoot at you? Get off the Police are bad people subject and face reality that they did what they had to do in the course of their job. Lost of life is never good but sometimes we just need to realize that all people fall within circumstance in any situation. HPD is a good Dept. and our citizens are lucky to have a fine group of men and woman in uniform that protect and serve well!

Your missing the point.

Your missing the point. Reread the comments and try to figure out what it is.

Police + Guns = Gang with a salary

Why are we still using lethal force for situations that don't necessary require such force? Even if the other person is armed, there are a plethora of safe and effective methods for diffusing the situation without murdering one another (and yes, I do consider any person who kills another person to be a murderer, regardless of what badges or uniform they're wearing). This just goes to show who the real terrorists are. Americans don't need to worry about Arabs and Muslims, they need to worry about the people actually set on hunting them down and making them pay: our police forces. From my own personal experience and reading dozens of accounts such as this, I only have one conclusion: the motto of the police needs a bit of editing, since it seems like they're only interested in blindly 'protecting and serving' bureaucracy, property, and the bank accounts of the wealthy by hunting and slaying citizens. Police vs citizens is a division that is grotesquely unhealthy and crippling to our society. There will never exist solid trust within our communities until we address the serious faults of our systems and reconsider the possibilities of living in a world in which dominance and control are not our most sought after 'virtues'.

What has this so called "war

What has this so called "war on drugs" turned into - a war on our civil and constitual rights... Why are the ninga dressed cops harassing an old man In pain. They need to get off the non violent drug users and get after the Murders, rapists, child molesters,etc. etc,

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School