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Family: Trooper shooting suspect ‘snapped’

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) – The family of the man accused of opening fire on a Virginia State Trooper is offering clues about what they think prompted the fatal shooting.

Russell Brown’s family said they are trying to comprehend the tragedy and are “tremendously taken aback by” what happened.

“Russell is a wonderful person.  He’s from a family of great morals, a family of values [and is] well educated,”  Deone McWilliams, Brown’s aunt, said.

Investigators said Brown was charged with the shooting death of Master Trooper Junius Walker during a traffic stop along I-85 in Dinwiddie County Thursday.

Brown’s family believes he just snapped after missing a recent court hearing over child support money owed for his 7-year-old twins. Family members said Brown became despondent when he could not come up with the money and was fearful police would come after him.

Michelle Brown, the suspect’s sister, said she had a feeling something was very wrong on the day of the shooting.

“I remember talking to a close family member of mine and just saying that he has so much pressure on him and I just hope that he comes forward,” Michelle Brown said. “And if not, he’s either going to harm himself or someone else.”

Brown is no stranger to law enforcement. Court documents show he was convicted in Richmond of obstruction of justice in 2006 and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in 2006 and 2008.

However, a judge suspended his sentence.

Brown went before a judge Friday to face one count of capital murder of a police officer and one count of attempted capital murder of a police officer.

The family said they are turning to God for strength during this difficult time.

“We’re human.  It’s painful, but our God is an awesome God,” McWilliams said.  “Our hearts go out to the family of Trooper Walker most definitely. Please forgive Russell for his actions.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Master Trooper J.A. Walker killed in line of duty

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for complete coverage of this important local story. 

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