Alleged Elks Lodge shooter indicted, cop cleared of criminal wrongdoing

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Two men were wounded in an officer-involved shooting at this spot on 2nd Street NW near the Downtown Mall on March 16. Photo by Graelyn Brashear. Two men were wounded in an officer-involved shooting at this spot on 2nd Street NW near the Downtown Mall on March 16. Photo by Graelyn Brashear.

A grand jury has indicted the man police say shot another Elks Lodge reveller on March 16 before being shot twice by a city cop.

According to court records, Franklin Donnett Brown, 56, of Albemarle, was indicted on one count of malicious wounding for shooting Leon Travis Brock, 22, of Culpeper County, and one count of using a firearm while committing an act of malicious wounding—both felonies.

Search warrant affidavits filed in the wake of the incident, which took place in the early hours of a Saturday morning less than a block from the Downtown Mall, detail what police believe happened: The two men were involved in an argument that started in the Elks Lodge on 2nd Street NW and spilled out into the street. An onlooker told police several men jumped on top of Brown before Brown advanced on Brock and shot him once.

Records report officer Alexander Bruner arrived on the scene immediately after and fired at Brown at least twice. One of Bruner’s .45-caliber bullets hit Brown in the back.

Both Brown and Brock were taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment. Bruner was put on paid administrative leave—standard procedure for police-involved shootings—but has since been cleared of criminal wrongdoing by police, according to Charlottesville Police Lieutenant and spokesman Ronnie Roberts.

“There’s been a lot of time, a lot of man hours spent on this case, and a lot of interviews conducted by detectives and supervising staff to work through this,” Roberts said. “From the police department side of it, the criminal investigation has been resolved, and no charges are filed in relation to the case.”

A separate internal probe into the incident by the department’s office of professional conduct is now under way, Roberts said, and Bruner will remain on administrative leave until that investigation is resolved.

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