Commonwealth v. Bryan Cage; Life Plus 1,248 Years for Shooting VBPD Detective, Possession of Child Porn

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Bryan Carl Cage, 50 years old, formerly of the 1600 block of Ohio Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found guilty by a jury for charges of Attempted Capital Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Use of a Firearm (2 counts), Discharging a Firearm in an Occupied Dwelling-Maliciously (39 counts), Possession of Child Pornography, Possession of Child Pornography – Subsequent Offense (99 counts), and Possession of Marijuana.  The jury recommended a sentence of Life plus 1,248 years and 30 days.  Circuit Court Judge James C. Lewis, who presided over the seven-day trial, will formally sentence Cage on August 16, 2021. 

The Commonwealth's evidence proved that for several months leading up to June 13, 2017, an investigation into child pornography possession led police to Bryan Carl Cage and his parents' residences on Ohio Avenue in Virginia Beach to serve a search warrant.  Over 15,000 images and videos of child pornography collected over ten (10) years on twelve (12) different devices were traced to Cage's above-garage apartment.  When police attempted to serve the search warrant at 6:30 a.m. on June 13, 2017, they wore clearly marked police attire, and yelled, "Police! Search warrant!"  The property consisted of a house and a detached garage with an upstairs living space.  Members of the police department, divided into two teams, attempted to make entry to the living spaces.

Cage's parents lived in the main house and exited the home without issue.  Cage, however, refused to open the door to the detached garage.  Unbeknownst the police officers, he had several firearms as well as five and a half (5 ½) pounds of marijuana growing in the kitchen of the detached garage.   After several commands for Cage to open the downstairs door, police breached it.  They then pushed in the top door, and Cage shot the detective as he took one step into the apartment.  The officer sustained two gunshot wounds to his shoulder that ultimately forced him to medically retire from the police department. 

Multiple police officers returned fire, attempted to retreat, and render aid to the wounded officer.  After a five (5) hour stand-off, Cage finally surrendered and was taken into custody.  The officer Cage shot has permanent damage to his shoulder and cannot engage in normal physical activities such as holding his infant on his right side. 

The police officers fired 9mm firearms and Cage was the only one involved who possessed a rifle.  Bullet fragments taken from the officer's shoulder were forensically analyzed and determined to be fired from a rifle.  After hearing from several experts throughout the trial, the jury rejected the defense's claims that one of the officers must have mistakenly shot the officer. 

Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Scott M. Lang and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kari A. Kolar prosecuted the case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.