An airport police officer has been charged with trespassing after authorities say witnesses spotted him on a roof with a handgun overlooking the Robert E. Lee memorial in downtown Richmond.
Saturday night, police officers received a call around 6:30 a.m. to investigate a report of an armed individual on the roof of an unoccupied building overlooking the memorial on the city’s famed Monument Avenue.
About an hour later, as police were preparing the enter the building, an armed man was spotted outside the building and taken into custody.
38-year-old Riley O’Shaughnessey, an officer with the Richmond International Airport police, was charged with trespassing.
The trespassing charge is a misdemeanor. No weapons charges were filed because O’Shaughnessey was carrying the gun lawfully, police said.
The Lee statue has been a rallying point for protesters and the scene of sometimes violent clashes. State plans to remove the statue are on hold because of an injunction barring removal while legal efforts to preserve the figure are underway.