Virginia Sheriff's Captain Recounts High-Speed Chase

A high-speed chase that followed a James City County robbery Tuesday ended in a hail of gunfire blocks from the Richmond city line in eastern Henrico County, according to witnesses, leaving one suspect near death and another man, who earlier had run...


"I know there was 15 to 20 shots fired," said Wayne Hall, a nearby resident who heard two distinct bursts of rapid gunfire 100 yards up Charles City Road and out of sight from his home.

Another witness said he watched three Henrico officers using handguns approach the SUV from an unprotected position on the roadway and open fire. "It was over in a matter of seconds," the witness said.

Crawley said he heard officers yelling for the driver of the vehicle to come out with his hands in the air but saw no movement from the car. It was unclear from Crawley, Hall or the third witness, who asked not to be identified out of concern for his safety, who initiated the shooting.

Seconds after the firing stopped, Hall said, he watched the SUV roar onto Charles City Road again and swerve into a driveway of the Library of Virginia's state records center. "But it couldn't make the turn 'cause it was going so fast and ended up slamming into that tree right there," Hall said, pointing across Charles City Road from his porch.

A sniper later used Hall's porch as a vantage point, pulling an old lawn chair in front of him for cover. "They made us leave in an armored car," said Hall, who was with his girlfriend and her son.

There was no indication that additional shots were fired after the driver first was surrounded by police near Williamsburg Road.

On Wednesday, the second crash site was a littered bed of broken car parts and empty medical packaging. Henrico detectives searched for forensic evidence at the initial crash site.

Henrico police confirmed that three officers have been placed on administrative duty as an investigation into all aspects of the shooting gets under way. The driver of the SUV suffered life-threatening injuries and remained on life support Wednesday at VCU Medical Center in Richmond. Henrico Lt. Eric Owens said the nature of the injuries and the shooting remain under investigation.

Residents of eastern Henrico were being urged to use caution. Police searched unoccupied homes and buildings for signs of Roach, whose Pennsylvania driver's license was found near where he fled on foot, police said.

Crawley said Wednesday that he doesn't often see the level of intensity that occurred Tuesday.

"But it's a part of the job I do and that's what we're here for," he said.

bmckelway@timesdispatch.com (804) 649-6601

  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to Officer.com. To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.