Virginia State Police now blame “human error” for the company’s hiring of Austin Lee Edwards, the cop who killed the grandparents and mom of a 15-year-old California lady he “catfished” on-line.
“Human error resulted in an incomplete database question throughout Edwards’ hiring course of,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller mentioned in a information launch Wednesday.
The assertion quantities to an admission that the company ought to have recognized a couple of 2016 incident, first reported by The Instances on Tuesday, through which Edwards was detained for psychiatric analysis after threatening to kill his father and himself. In line with an Abingdon, Va., police report obtained by The Instances via a public information request, Edwards was taken into custody after he lower his hand and emergency medical technicians needed to name police to assist restrain him.
EMTs, accompanied by police, took Edwards to a neighborhood hospital, the place he was detained below an emergency custody order. Later the identical day, a decide authorised a short lived detention order and Edwards was transferred to a neighborhood psychiatric facility.
Edwards’ father informed police he didn’t know why his son harmed himself however mentioned it might need been associated to troubles along with his then-girlfriend, in line with the police report.
In a press release to The Instances, Geller mentioned the Virginia State Police wouldn’t have employed any officer candidate who it knew had been detained below an emergency custody order and a short lived detention order.
Geller declined to say whether or not the state’s background examine course of would have revealed both order.
Potential troopers are required to reveal interactions with regulation enforcement even when they weren’t arrested. However Edwards by no means disclosed the 2016 incident, Geller mentioned.
The Abingdon police report, which is a public document, detailed the violent 2016 incident and referenced each the emergency custody order and the momentary detention order. Virginia State Police haven’t mentioned whether or not the police report ought to have turned up throughout their background examine of Edwards.
Geller declined to touch upon the precise circumstances surrounding Edwards’ custody and detention orders, saying the division was barred by regulation from discussing confidential information, regardless of these information being made public on Tuesday by a Washington County decide in response to a movement filed by The Instances.
Riverside police mentioned that Edwards, 28, portrayed himself as a 17-year-old whereas speaking with the lady on-line. In November, he drove throughout the nation to her Riverside dwelling and killed her household earlier than setting hearth to the house and leaving with the lady.
San Bernardino County officers initially mentioned Edwards was killed in a shootout with police after officers stopped his automotive. However the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division mentioned final week that Edwards died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The teenage lady was unhurt.
Geller mentioned the division believed the lapse to be remoted and is taking steps to “make sure the error is just not repeated going ahead.” She additionally mentioned that Edwards returned all his state-owned tools, together with his service weapons, on his closing day of employment.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Workplace, the place Edwards labored briefly after leaving the Virginia State Police, declined to remark.