The typical signs of a close- or body-contact shooting were not found around the bullet wounds William Chapman sustained in the head and chest when he was killed by Officer Stephen Rankin in the parking lot of a Walmart in Portsmouth on 22 April. Chapman was the second unarmed man to be shot dead by Rankin.
“There is no evidence of close-range fire to visual inspection,” wrote Wendy Gunther, an assistant chief medical examiner for Virginia. Gunther said a definitive ruling would be made by the state’s department of forensic sciences.
A copy of Gunther’s report was obtained by the Guardian from a source who was not authorised to release it to the media, along with a separate toxicology report from state forensic investigators that said Chapman’s blood showed no traces of alcohol or drugs.