Man who shot himself during I-95 standoff sentenced to 6 years in prison

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – The Henrico man who shot himself during a standoff with police on Interstate 95 in downtown Richmond earlier this year, was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday.

David Rios, 41, pleaded guilty to gun possession by a violent felon and eluding police. He was sentenced to five years for the weapons charge and an active sentence of one year for eluding police.

In a jailhouse interview with CBS 6 earlier this year, Rio explained that he was in a very low place in his life during the March 21 incident that shut down I-95.

The incident started when a Henrico police officer approached Rios in the parking lot of a Game Stop.

Rios admitted that he had marijuana in the car, he said he wasn’t doing anything wrong at the time an officer approached him for alleged suspicious activity. He said he was just texting with his girlfriend. He said he had a bowl in the car from the night before but had not been smoking.

David Rios

Rios also had an illegal firearm in the car and he said he drove off because he had already spent 15 years in prison and he didn’t want to go back.

Rio traveled from the 800 block of E Parham Road to I-95 southbound towards Richmond, before ultimately crashing near Belvidere Street.

When he crashed on 95, he said he tried to overdose on a “large quantity” of drugs then tried to slit his wrist and then finally grabbed his gun and shot himself in the chest.

Shortly afterward, Rios was removed from the vehicle and put into an ambulance on a stretcher. He was released from the hospital and arrested a month later.

Rios was previously sentenced to 17 years in prison for robbery and malicious wounding in the 90s, according to online court records. He was recently acquitted by a Richmond jury of a 2017 charge of possessing a gun as a violent felon. In 2015, Rios was a person of interest in the murder of his girlfriend Katasha Johnson.

He was held for unrelated assault and battery charges, but never charged with her murder.