Updated: Williamsburg police officer charged after police standoff in James City

Staff Writer

A Williamsburg police officer has been charged after an alleged domestic incident where he shot his AR-15 rifle once inside a residence and barricaded himself inside the home.

Richard Frederick Drab Jr, 50, has been charged with shooting within an occupied dwelling, domestic assault, brandishing a firearm and reckless handling of a firearm, according to a James City County Police Department news release.

On Oct. 24 at about 5:15 p.m., James City County Police Department officers were called to the 4600 block of Noland Boulevard for a barricaded, armed person in a residence, according to James City County Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams.

An ensuing police standoff ended at about 7:10 p.m., according to the release.

A domestic incident is thought to have caused the standoff, the release said. No one was injured.

James City County police identified the suspect as Drab — a Williamsburg Police Department lieutenant, the release said.

Drab, a 20 year veteran of the Williamsburg force, has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, according to a Williamsburg Police Department news release.

At 7:20 p.m., James City County Police Department investigators questioned Drab, Williams said.

Drab was charged with shooting within an occupied dwelling, domestic assault, brandishing a firearm and reckless handling of a firearm, and he was taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail without bond.

James City County police seized six firearms from the residence including handguns and rifles.

“I want to thank the James City County Police Department for their prompt and professional handling of this situation which fortunately led to a peaceful resolution,” Williamsburg Police Chief Sean Dunn said in a statement.

Drab has no criminal history in Williamsburg-James City County, York or Gloucester general district courts.

Drab taught a course in conjunction with Williamsburg Police Department Lt. Brian Carlsen in January on how people can defend themselves in active shooter situations, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

At the time, Drab said law enforcement shared the same sense of fear of active shooters as regular people, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

“Expect us to be scared,” Drab said in January.

Nine months later, Drab faces as many as five years in prison if convicted on the sole charge of shooting within an occupied dwelling, according to the Virginia Code.

In total, Drab could face eight years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted and sentenced to the maximum extent of the law, according to the Virginia Code.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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