Angel Viola DeCarlo
June 23, 1987
December 18, 2018
Age at Death:
Ms. DeCarlo was born in Hopewell, VA, and attended James River High School in Chesterfield County, VA where she graduated in 2005. After high school, she attended several schools, including The Virginia School of Science and Technology and Pharmacy Technology School in Richmond, VA. She was known to follow her dreams to become a model, traveling around the country to seek various modeling opportunities. She loved ballet and attended the Richmond School of Ballet for several years as a young girl. She was a very skilled dancer who incorporated ballet movements into her praise dance routines. She, at one time, traveled with the New Hope Dance Troupe and Step Team of Hopewell, VA. They were a very distinguished young group and were extremely popular and well received by audiences in the Tri-Cities area. In an interview by the media, her mother reported Ms. DeCarlo struggled with mental issues, and she was in a behavioral institute just one week before she was killed. She did not believe her daughter owned a firearm.
Hopewell, Virginia police were called to the report of an armed robbery at a gas station in the 900 block of Winston Churchill Drive around 11:09 a.m. As officers searched the area, they found a woman fitting the robbery suspect’s description running on foot nearby. Officers issued several verbal commands for her to stop. “While continuing to disregard the officers’ verbal commands, the adult female subsequently pointed a handgun at one of the officers, who fired a single shot,” according to a Hopewell Police Department release. The woman was Ms. DeCarlo, who died at the scene.
Was justice served?
Unclear because it looks like a situation where the justification for the shooting was Ms. DeCarlo possessing a firearm. This is a case of a suspect with mental illness, being sought for questioning by police. Because she reportedly ran from officers, after threatening them with a handgun, she was fatally shot. Virginia State Police assisted with the investigation, which is interesting. The officer involved in the shooting was put on administrative leave. None of the news reports noted that Angel had an untreated serious mental illness, schizophrenia, and had been freed from a jail for a prior "failure to identify" arrest. Her being set free was so she could be “restored to competency” in “the least restrictive” environment, such as an inpatient treatment center. The competency program is a lower cost alternative to in-patient treatment, and it is run by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services. Her mother reported Ms. DeCarlo began self-medicating after she was befriended by a “predatory’ drug user,” who “misused and abused her.” In 2017, Angel lost consciousness in nearby Henrico County because of a drug overdose.