Pastor: Don’t judge entire community by trooper shooting

RICHMOND, Va. -- A pastor is urging the community to not judge the people who live in one of Richmond's public housing communities after a Virginia State Police trooper was fatally shot Friday evening.

Pastor Alex Boyd of the Living Faith Christian Fellowship rushed to the scene in hopes of comforting witnesses.

“The main thing I would want the city, the metro area at large to know is to not judge the entire community by an incident," Boyd said. "There’s some  wonderful people who live in Mosby that’s paying their rent, sending their kids to school and trying to provide a good life – just like everyone else."

The shooting shut down Coalter Street, which reporter Brendan King described as the community’s main thoroughfare, for several hours.

"No one could get to their home or cars," King said. "There were many parents out with their children… that just wanted to go home, but the tragedy was preventing them from doing so.”

Neighbors said they did not realize the tragedy has happened until they heard numerous sirens as officers rushed to the community.

Virginia State Police said the incident started around 7:30 p.m., when a Richmond police officer partnered with a Virginia State Police Special Agent approached a vehicle in the 1900 block of Redd Street.

They said the stop was initiated after the officer and special agent observed a car pull up to the curb and park the wrong way of the street.

“The Richmond Police Officer was in uniform and driving a marked Richmond Police SUV. The Richmond Police Officer and Special Agent walked up to the car and struck up a conversation with the driver as part of a consensual encounter. During the course of the encounter, the Special Agent was shot by the passenger in the car, who fled on foot,” said State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

The Special Agent was transported to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Richmond Ambulance Authority medics arrived within three and a half minutes and the special agent arrived at the hospital within 8 and half minutes of the call, according to a RAA official.

Authorities said 45-year-old Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael T. Walter succumbed to his injuries just after 5 a.m. Saturday.

Geller said the driver was detained by police and the suspect, who was the passenger in the vehicle, was later arrested by Virginia State Police and U.S. Marshals at a home in Northumberland County Saturday morning.

Travis Ball, 27, is charged with one count of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Additional charges are pending, officials said.

Police sources said a firearm was recovered at the crime scene. It is unclear if it is the firearm used during the shooting.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham called the Mosby Court community one of the most challenging in the City of Richmond.

“We’ve had six homicides in the Mosby community, and 19 individuals shot (this year),” said Durham.

Geller said the driver was detained by police and the suspect, who was the passenger in the vehicle, is still at large after fleeing the scene.

The suspect is described as a black male with a medium build, 5'8” to 5'10” tall, in his mid-20s, with a short crop haircut. He was seen wearing a red, possibly plaid, button-up shirt with 3/4 inch sleeves and khaki cargo shorts or pants.

Police sources tell CBS 6 that a firearm was recovered at the crime scene. It is unclear if it is the firearm used during the shooting.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham called the Mosby Court community one of the most challenging in the City of Richmond.

“We’ve had six homicides in the Mosby community, and 19 individuals shot (this year),” said Durham.

Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Virginia State Police at 804-553-3445 or #77 on a cell phone or by email at questions@vsp.virginia.gov. Tips can also be called in to the Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.