Search for suspected killer shutdown I-64

Posted at 12:39 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-02 13:40:12-04

Branden Dalay (PHOTO: Henrico Sheriff's Office)

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The man accused of killing another man in eastern Henrico Sunday night and then firing gunshots at officers attempting to arrest him Monday morning in western Henrico was identified as Branden Charles Dalay, according to Crime Insider sources and later confirmed by Henrico Police.

Dalay, 23, of North Chesterfield, was arrested Monday morning in Short Pump and charged with 2nd Degree Murder, Auto Theft, Burglary, and Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony, according to online records.

The hours-long overnight search for Dalay forced police to close I-64 -- west and east -- near the Pouncey Tract Road overpass in Short Pump around 11 p.m. Sunday.

"Nobody knew what was going on, nobody knew the situation," driver Sal Abdullah said about the situation on the interstate. "You can’t move. Can’t go forward. Can’t go backwards. You just get highly nervous and anxious."

What driver did not know at the time, was police were after a man wanted in a fatal East End shooting.

Police responded to that shooting, in the 1800 block of East Nine Mile Road, around 10 p.m. Sunday.

When officers arrived, they found 33-year-old Stephen Powell, of Henrico, dead inside a vehicle.

About a hour later, Henrico Police were called to investigate an alarm and determined someone had stolen a white pick-up truck from a business near the fatal shooting.

Officers eventually found that stolen truck near Glenside Drive and Bethlehem Road.

Officers pursued the truck and tried to flatten its tire in an attempt to stop the driver. The driver did not stop, police said.

Eventually, the driver crashed on Interstate 64 east, near Interstate 295, in Short Pump.

The driver, police said, got out of the truck, fired shots at officers, and ran off. The officers did not return fire.

Police shutdown the interstate as they searched for the suspect.

"People started seeing cops coming up and down with their rifles," Abdullah said. "It’s dark outside. You just think the worst. What if the guy wants to jump in your car and hide?"

Five hours later, around 3:45 a.m., police arrested Dalay nearby along the 13000 block of North Gayton Road, near West Broad Street.

The interstate then reopened and drivers -- some of whom were stuck on the interstate for hours -- could continue their trip.

"Thank you for your patience," Henrico Police Lt. Lauren Hummel said. "I know that being stuck in traffic, especially it's Spring Break and you might have been trying to get somewhere while kids are sleeping, so thanks for your patience and letting us do our jobs."

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.

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