HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — The father of the bank robbery suspect killed in a crash said he contemplated calling Crime Insider Jon Burkett when he heard about a police pursuit on I-64 in Short Pump Thursday morning.
Authorities said 36-year-old Antione Thomas and 27-year-old Dorrell Taylor were involved in an armed robbery at the Wells Fargo on Amberdale Road in North Chesterfield earlier that morning before leading officers on a chase along I-64.
Thomas died on the scene while Taylor, who was named as an accomplice in the robbery, suffered serious injuries.
Alonzo Anderson, Thomas’ father, said he had a bad feeling when he heard about the police chase.
“It was a gut feeling,” Anderson said. “I felt like that all day at work that something was wrong.”
In fact, Anderson said he considered calling reporter Jon Burkett in hopes of getting a message to his son, who he said would do anything to avoid being captured.
“Just put me on TV so that I could tell them,” Anderson said. “I could ask them to tell him to turn himself in. But I didn’t and later on that day, his mom called me at 4 o’clock… and I knew what it was.”
Anderson revealed that his son was facing 60 years behind bars for previous crimes following his release from prison after a 2012 conviction for another bank robbery.
“He was hooked on the heroin,” Anderson admitted. “I knew once he got out of money, he’d do anything for that drug.”
Anderson reflected about a Bible scripture that reads money is the root of all evil, a verse that now pains his heart
“With that money [from the bank], he knew he could get his next high,” Anderson said. “The drug thing is just awful. It’s hurting a whole lot of kids and a whole lot of parents.”
Family members, who were still coming to grips with the unexpected loss, remembered Thomas as a “good person.”
“I wish he had a better support system, because maybe it wouldn’t have gone down like that,” his younger sister told Burkett. “I wish I was there for him.”
State police: Suspects’ SUV overturned several times
Troopers said 36-year-old Antoine Deangelo Thomas of Richmond died after being ejected from the vehicle. Police believe Thomas is the suspect who entered the bank, according to Crime Insider sources.
Police said the other man, 27-year-old Dorell Percell Taylor of Richmond was was seriously injured and transported to VCU Medical Center.
“The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending,” Sgt. Keeli Hill with Virginia State Police said.
Chesterfield Police said the incident began with a bank robbery at the Wells Fargo bank on Amberdale Road in North Chesterfield after a man walked into the bank just after 9:50 a.m., pulled out a handgun and demanded money from a clerk. After receiving the money, the suspect fled the scene in a Nissan Xterra SUV.
“Responding officers located a suspect vehicle and pursued the vehicle. The pursuit continued into Richmond, where officers lost sight of the vehicle,” a Chesterfield Police spokesperson said. “A short time later, Virginia State Police located the vehicle in the city and the pursuit continued onto Interstate 64.”
Virginia State Police received a description of a suspect vehicle and identified it at approximately 10:10 a.m. on the Downtown Expressway/I-195.
“The pursuit continued onto Interstate 64 heading west in Henrico County. Near Exit 175 in Henrico County, the Nissan ran off the left side of Interstate 64 and overturned several times before coming to rest in the median,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson said.
Chesterfield Police obtained warrants for Taylor on charges that include conspiracy to commit a felony, robbery, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Taylor, who has serious injuries, remains in protective custody at VCU Medical Center.
The crash closed lanes on Interstate 64 for several hours.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or through the P3 app.
This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, and video here.