This morning, the Virginian-Pilot has a long profile of suspect Ryan Frederick. He certainly doesn’t seem like a dangerous cop killer. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family describe him as a friendly, decent, hard-working guy who’d had some rough times. By 28 he had already lost both parents, and most recently, his grandmother. He’d also recently gotten engaged. They reiterated that Frederick was an avid gardener. None say they had any knowledge of him selling drugs. Neighbors say there was little in the way of traffic at Frederick’s home. Seems this raid took square aim at an occasional, recreational pot smoker.
In fact, the only negative passage in the entire profile comes from a guy who knows nothing at all about Frederick:
Officers are still in shock three weeks later, said Jack Bider, president of the Chesapeake Fraternal Order of Police and a friend of Shivers.
"Here we have a citizen, not only a citizen of Chesapeake, but a police officer trying to make a living, and this guy shoots through a door," Bider said. "Let’s remove the police factor out of it. What if it was a Girl Scout knocking at his door on this cold and rainy night and she slips on his porch and falls onto the door? Is he going to shoot through the door then?"
Shivers was trying to "make a living" by breaking into the home—after dark, with a weapon—of a man guilty of nothing more than a misdemeanor. Also, Frederick may have shot through the door, but according to press reports thus far, he shot as Shivers was attempting to crawl through one of the lower panels, which suggests it had been kicked in. Let’s be clear, here. This was a home invasion. It would take an awfully large girl scout to mimic what Frederick must have heard that night by simply tripping and falling.
Over the weekend, I noted that the local news station whose anchor organized a fundraiser for Det. Shivers’ family failed to note in the story that the police failed to find the marijuana operation they were looking for when they raided Frederick’s home. They seem to have corrected that, now, though there’s no mention of the earlier omission.
Thanks to reason commenter Rimfax for setting up a Wiki with an archive of posts on the Frederick case. Catch up here.