Suspect arrested after man found dead on Hopewell sidewalk

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HOPEWELL Va. — A suspect has been arrested for murder after a man was found shot to death on a sidewalk in Hopewell Tuesday morning.

When officers were called to the 1900 block of Warren Avenue about 11:10 a.m. on Tuesday, they discovered the body of Willie Earl Cromartie of Hopewell.

Investigators said the preliminary investigation indicated the victim was engaged in a verbal argument with an unknown offender that became physical and that led to a shooting.

Witnesses reported seeing the offender, described as a light-complected black male, with an afro-style haircut, entering a silver or grey 4-door vehicle and fleeing the scene. The suspect was last seen wearing a light in color blue jacket.

Photographs of the alleged offender in the blue jacket and the suspect vehicle

Photographs of the offender and the suspect vehicle were captured by security cameras at the complex.

“With help from the community, tips to the Hopewell/Prince George Crimesolvers program and relentless follow-up by detectives, the offender was identified and warrants of arrest were secured,” Hopewell Police Chief John Keohane said.

Randolph Len Taylor Jr.

Randolph Len Taylor Jr.

As a result, 26-year-old Randolph Len Taylor Jr., of Petersburg, was arrested without incident  by members of the U.S Marshal’s Fugitive Wednesday at 9:40 p.m. in Colonial Heights.

Taylor was charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He is being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail pending arraignment.

“It was through a coordinated and vigilant investigative effort that this violent offender was rapidly identified, arrested and removed from the street within 36 hours of his crime,” Lt. Paul Intravia, with the HPD’s the Criminal Investigations Division, said.

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