Gunman who carjacked Richmond law firm workers may have done this before, sources say

Posted at 12:11 AM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 06:25:53-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond and Williamsburg detectives are comparing notes on the man Richmond Police said abducted two men and shot one of them in the head during an attempted robbery Monday, according to multiple police sources. In July, a man and woman said they were abducted at gunpoint in Colonial Williamsburg and forced to withdraw money at several ATMs. Surveillance photos showed the suspect in that crime.

Suntrust crime

The fact the suspect's name in the Richmond abduction and shooting has not yet been released could mean he is a suspect and other investigations, law enforcement expert and retired Chesterfield Police Captain Steve Neal said.

“In a typical law enforcement investigation, they’re going to know who their suspect is very early on in the case, and most often they are going to release that to the media,” said Neal. “The fact that in this case it’s been a few days and the name still hasn’t been released, that would lead me to believe there is a high likelihood there are some other crimes that they suspect him of and some other investigations to go through before they release the names.”

The victims got away in the Williamsburg crime, but in Richmond, one hostage, identified as Russell Turner, was forced to lead police on a chase. The chase ended with the gunman shot Turner in the head and was then shot by Richmond Police, according to the Richmond Police chief. Both Turner and the gunman remain in critical, but stable condition, at the hospital.

Neal said police have to look at similar crimes, like the one in Williamsburg, as part of their investigation.

“You’re always going to look all around to see if they’re other crimes because if you are an offender and a long time criminal, which I suspect in this case he probably is, then it’s a high likelihood he has committed very similar crimes in some other jurisdiction,” said Neal.

Co-workers , neighbors offer prayers

BrownGreer, the law firm where Turner has worked since August 2008, released a statement Monday about their employees'  violent lunch break encounter.

"This is a tragic time for our BrownGreer family," the statement began. "We cannot comment on what has happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with our employees who were the victims of this senseless violence, especially our employee who is in the hospital with his family."

Neighbors also offered their thoughts and prayers with the Turner family during this difficult time.

"I wish him the best and a speedy recovery, when he comes home, I’m definitely going to go over there and welcome him back to the neighborhood, hope he'll be okay," one neighbor said.

"We are there for them, we are there for the family, anything they need, we’re there to support. That is the kind of neighborhood this is," added another.

The abduction and car-jacking

Turner and a BrownGreer co-worker were on lunch break , just pumping gas, when the crime unfolded.  It was 12:30 p.m. Monday when police said a gunman approached them at the  BP gas station on East Main Street near Tobacco Row and asked for money. The gas station is located less than a mile from the victims' Rocketts Landing law office . When the men told the gunman they didn't have money, police said the gunman forced the men back into their SUV and told them to drive to the bank.

Decision made inside bank leads to police chase 

It was at the Bank of America, at 1111 East Main Street in downtown Richmond, where one victim was ordered to get out. He went into the bank, according police, and called 911. Police arrived and ordered the gunman to release his hostage, but instead the vehicle drove off, weaving through city streets.

Police chased the carjacked SUV throughout the city, as Turner drove.

"Be advised he has a weapon to the driver’s head,” crackled the police radio.

The pursuit ended with a crash in Church Hill near 25th  and R streets.

"Shots fired! Shots fired!"

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said the gunman fired a weapon at officers after he shot the hostage in the head at point-blank range.

"The vehicle stopped, and the suspect sitting in the rear seat fired a single shot at our victim’s head," Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said.

Even though the chief said the gunman shot the victim, the official police update issued later that evening was not as specific.

"Henrico Police deployed spike strips near the intersection of Magnolia Street and Mechanicsville Turnpike in Henrico County, puncturing the SUV’s tires. The vehicle came to a stop after it failed to make a turn from 25th Street onto R Street and collided with a parked car," a Richmond Police spokeswoman said. "Gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and officers. Both the victim and suspect were taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. An RPD officer also suffered a minor injury."

Police said they were working to release information about the suspect. Anyone with additional information can submit a news tip here.

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