Four Virginia Beach police officers have been placed on administrative leave after they fired upwards of thirty rounds at a parked car, killing a man and a woman while their four-month-old son was in the backseat.
India Kager, 28, and Angelo Perry, 35, died during the tragic incident; thankfully, their four-month-old son was not harmed.
According to Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera, Perry was suspected in a homicide and had been under surveillance for 30 minutes by officers in an unmarked car when they approached his vehicle.
“He was a person of interest in a homicide case. And we did know that he was armed — we knew that he was heavily armed. We did have credible information that he was going to commit a violent act in our city,” Cervera said in a press conference.
Cervera said Perry, who had an extensive rap sheet, shot at officers first, but none were injured. Instead, officers fired 30 rounds into the car hitting Kager who was sitting in the driver’s seat. She was not a target of the investigation.
The entire encounter lasted just 15 seconds.
After her death, Kager’s mother, Gina Best, wondered why police chose to confront Perry even though they knew he wasn’t alone.
“It was very clear to me that India was not part of the police investigation based on the responses I got from police. She had nothing to do with it. She was totally innocent,” Best told the Washington Post. “Did they find any weapons on India? Did she pose a threat? Why did [police] shoot into a car with a baby and woman who had nothing to do with their investigation?”
Best continued: “My greatest fear is it will be doctored … to make India seem like she’s part of dark behavior. India was not of that element,” she explained, telling reporters Kager’s father and grandfather were both retired police officers.
During a recent press conference, Cervera admitted officers knew Kager was in the car with Perry but they approached the pair anyway because they believed he was going to commit a crime, although they didn’t specify which crime. However, they did not know the couple’s infant was in the backseat until paramedics began administering aid to Perry and Kager.
“Virginia Beach Police Department and our officers believe in the sanctity of life. We do everything we can to mitigate violent conflict,” Cervera explained, nothing officers went to a nearby Walmart to buy formula and diapers for the baby until child protective services arrived.
Best said the whole ordeal was unnecessary and her daughter, a postal carrier and a Navy veteran, did not deserve to die.
“I’m devastated because she should still be alive nursing her son, my grandson,” she explained. “We’re talking about a very beautiful soul that should still be here. She was unarmed, she was completely innocent. They shot indiscriminately.”
In addition to her infant, Kager also leaves behind a four-year-old son from a previous marriage.