Powhatan dad killed with shotgun days before court hearing

Posted at 11:31 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 18:27:31-05

POWHATAN, Va. -- A Powhatan father was found dead from a shotgun wound to the head, the medical examiner said Tuesday.  The case, previously classified as a death investigation, was now considered a homicide.

John Rafter, 48, was found dead on the bedroom floor in his Powhatan home, according to Crime Insider sources. The lights and Christmas decor were still on his Flint Hill Road home Tuesday night.

While the Powhatan Sheriff's office won't comment on their investigation until Wednesday, the Medical Examiner’s office told CBS 6 that Rafter was shot in the head with a shotgun.

Neighbors were baffled, and questioned who would want to kill a man who devoted his life to his children. They also said he would be greatly missed.

"He really loved those kids,” friend Ryan Boggs said. “He really was a neighbor everyone wishes they had. He always came over and wanted to hang out, just so friendly."

Court documents showed a complaint had been filed in circuit court in a domestic situation that involved Rafter.

That hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, five days after the father of two was killed.

The search is on for his killer.

"Kids involved in the mix. The situation is sad, especially around Christmas,” Boggs said. “I hope there's something we can do to help."

Rafter was a master software engineer at Capital One, Crime Insider sources said.

His co-workers created a GoFundMe for his funeral costs, and for his children.



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.