20 years since a Virginia State Police officer was shot and killed

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–State police grapple with the shooting death of long-time trooper, Master Trooper Junius Walker, age 63. And it’s been 20 years since the last Virginia trooper was shot and killed.

Walker was shot several time off Interstate 85, the suspect firing into his cruiser; witnessed by an officer arriving on scene. Walker’s car rolled into the woods and caught on fire.

State police aren’t releasing much information yet about the man they have in custody, but police sources tell CBS 6 the suspect is from Chesterfield and Richmond  area, and no stranger to law enforcement.

Walker was a veteran officer, joining in 1973,  who recently talked to his neighbors about retirement plans.

“The trooper was shot multiple times and died at the scene,” Geller said.

State police are in the early stages of their investigation.

Around 1:20 p.m,  troopers say Walker pulled alongside a black vehicle on the shoulder of I-85.  A few moments later another trooper arrived to witness the shooting horror. The trooper’s car crashed into the woods and caught fire, as the  suspect ran into the woods.

Chris Bailey captures fire at scene where trooper was shot.

Chris Bailey captures fire at scene where trooper was shot.

Troopers are unsure if it was a traffic stop or if Walker was checking on a disabled vehicle.

“He does not have a  camera in his car, so it’s a little more difficult for us to put a sequence of events together,” Geller said.

A K-9 found clothes and a weapon in the woods.  “We have recovered a weapon and now we will send it off for ballistics tests to see if it was the murder weapon,” said Geller.

Forty minutes later and half-mile from the scene, sources tell CBS 6 the suspect was found naked in an abandoned vehicle at this tow service parking lot.  He was taken into custody as troopers began the search as to why the shooting happened.

“I think it’s safe to say that everyone who knew this trooper, knew he was a great man, not only in size but personality, character and dedication to the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Geller, her eyes filling with tears.

Charges are pending, although the suspect will most likely face capital murder of a police officer and if found guilty, could face the death penalty.

Trooper walker leaves behind a wife and two grown daughters.

The VSP’s  heavy-duty training and professionalism have largely kept them  safe, but they’ve still lost plenty in the family, most of them struck by vehicles on the road they patrol.

Just five months ago, Trooper Andrew Fox was struck and fatally injured while directing traffic outside of the Virginia State Fair.

And there have been, on average, one trooper killed in crashes or vehicle strikes every other year.

But it’s been 20 years since the last trooper was shot and killed.

Trooper Jose Cavazos was shot in the chest six times by a speeding motorist in a stolen car on February 24, 1993. The killer, Lonnie Weeks, asked God to bless the Cavazos family just before he was executed by lethal injection 13 years ago.

Another trooper died from gunshot wounds since then, in 1995, but Henry Noel Harmon had been shot in the neck by a man he arrested nearly 30 years earlier and had been left a quadriplegic.

The worst run of recent murders came between 1984 and 1987, when five troopers were slain.

Trooper / Inspector Date of Death Details
Inspector W. Neville Hatcher 19-Aug-28 Killed while attempting to arrest a murder suspect
Inspector Phillip C. Via 11-Jan-29 Killed due to motorcycle accident while providing an escort for President Calvin Coolidge
Inspector Curtis Lee Wood 11-Mar-29 Killed when he was struck by an intoxicated driver
Inspector Thomas Allen Belt 18-Aug-30 Killed in a motorcycle accident in Loudoun County
Inspector Charles Bazil Bullock 15-Feb-34 Succumbed to injuries received in a motorcycle accident
Inspector William Raymond Thompson 23-Sep-35 Killed while attempting to arrest three bank robbers
Sergeant Charles William Puckett 28-Mar-38 Succumbed to pneumonia contracted while pursuing and arresting a murder suspect
Sergeant Clarence Lemuel Maynard 9-Sep-39 Killed in an accident while responding to a call
Trooper Urshell Thomas Mayo 19-Feb-41 Succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident
Trooper William Stafford Tinsley 5-Sep-42 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper William Hawthorne Andrews 3-Oct-46 Succumbed to injuries sustained in an automobile accident
Trooper Robert Elvin Caldwell 17-Jun-48 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Joseph Benjamin Thomas 20-Jun-50 Killed in an airplane accident
Trooper Robert Edward Porter 20-Jun-50 Killed in an airplane accident
Investigator Wallace Monroe Simpson 23-Oct-51 Shot and killed by an escaped mental patient
Trooper Robert Wright Smith 21-Nov-51 Killed when his patrol car was struck by a passenger train
Trooper Walter Sinton Parrish 4-Oct-53 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Robert Louis Loder Jr. 31-Jan-54 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Robert Fulton Giles 23-Jul-54 Shot and killed by a suspect during an arrest
Trooper Henry Murray Brooks Jr. 10-Jun-56 Struck and killed by an automobile while investigating an automobile accident
Trooper Charles Eugene (Gene) Morris 2-Mar-62 Shot and killed while assisting deputies make an arrest
Trooper Garland Matthew Miller 13-Jun-63 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Warren Yokely Harless 18-Nov-68 Shot and killed while assisting deputies with an arrest
Trooper Jackie Monroe Bussard 5-May-70 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Donald Edward Lovelace 18-Oct-70 Struck and killed by an automobile during a traffic stop
Trooper Rannie DeWitt Kennedy 5-Nov-73 Killed in an automobile accident during a vehicle pursuit
Trooper James Read Hughes 3-Jun-74 Struck and killed by an automobile during a traffic stop
Investigator Claude Everett Seymour 25-Apr-75 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Bernard Walter Wright 17-Jan-76 Killed in an automobile accident during a pursuit
Trooper Garland West Fisher Jr. 15-Nov-76 Shot and killed after being abducted during a traffic stop
Trooper Robert Tinsley Lohr 22-Jul-78 Struck and killed by a vehicle while assisting a motorist
Trooper Robin Lee Farmer 3-Sep-81 Killed in an automobile accident during a pursuit
Special Agent Rodney Dean Grimes 9-Oct-83 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman 19-Aug-84 Stabbed to death when an unidentified male attacked him at his home
Sergeant James Leroy Biggs 19-Dec-84 Shot and killed during a traffic stop
Trooper Leo Whitt 12-Apr-85 Shot and killed during a traffic stop
Trooper Ricky Marshall McCoy 3-Jan-86 Shot and killed during a traffic stop
Trooper Alexander McKie Cochran III 15-Jan-87 Shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance in his neighborhood
Trooper Harry Lee Henderson 17-Mar-87 Struck and killed by a truck during a traffic stop
Trooper Jacqueline Vernon 16-Aug-88 Struck and killed by a Metro Bus during a traffic stop
Trooper Jerry Lynn Hines 20-Feb-89 Shot and killed during a traffic stop
Trooper Jose M. Cavazos 24-Feb-93 Shot and killed during a traffic stop
Trooper Henry Noel Harmon 7-Feb-95 Shot and paralyzed on 1-10-60, & died 2-7-95, due to complications from the wound
Trooper Gregory Patton Fleenor 12-Dec-96 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Jessica Jean Cheney 17-Jan-98 Killed while directing traffic at the scene of an accident
Trooper Daniel Lee Williams 12-Dec-99 Died two days after being critically injured in a car accident
Senior Trooper Charles Mark Cosslett 23-Oct-02 Killed in a motorcycle accident
Trooper Michael Todd Blanton 29-Jan-03 After stopping a DUI driver was dragged by vehicle & killed after it crashed
Trooper Kevin Carder Manion 18-Feb-06 Accidentally shot and killed by a rifle that discharged in a wrecked vehicle while being loaded
Senior Trooper Robert A. Hill Sr. 24-Nov-06 Struck and killed by a vehicle during a traffic stop
Trooper Mark David Barrett 14-Sep-10 Drowned during Search and Recovery Team training dive exercise
Trooper Adam M Bowen 24-Jun-11 Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Andrew David Fox 5-Oct-12 Struck and killed by vehicle while directing traffic at the Virginia State Fair
Master Trooper Junius A. Walker 7-Mar-13 Shot and killed during a traffic stop on I-85 near mile marker 45 in Dinwiddle County

For more information on this story, click here: Virginia State Trooper shot and killed on Interstate 85. 

Stay with WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for the latest updates on the state trooper shooting.  

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