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West End shooting leaves car wash manager concerned for safety: 'Nerve-racking'

Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 20, 2023

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The soundtrack at any car wash includes a constant hiss and hum of scrub brushes and industrial vacuums. Those noises likely drowned out the commotion of a larceny suspect and Henrico Police exchanging gunfire near Innsbrook Sunday evening.

“Yeah, we had a few customers here. Didn’t really know what was going on at the time,” said Chris Hall, the general manager at Wash Your Way RVA. The car wash is adjacent to the woodline where police said a foot chase ended with gunshots.

“One of my employees tried to get to Wawa and was told the police force was heavy and the cops were out with their guns out,” Hall said.

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Henrico Police were initially called to 4000 Cox Road for a disorderly situation.

A guest at a hotel there told the Richmond TImes-Dispatch a man and woman stole his cell phone from the hotel lobby, and the police were called.

Responding officers identified the man and woman involved in the larceny and a foot pursuit occurred, stretching from the Cox Road area to Old Sadler Road, about a quarter mile down Broad Street, officials said.

Investigators said the man fired toward the officers in pursuit and those officers returned fire. The woman was taken into custody and the man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to Henrico Police.

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No officers were injured. Charges are pending, police said.

“It’s a little nerve-racking to know that something can escalate that quickly and not even know that it’s happening right around you,” Hall said.

While some of his high school-aged employees thought seeing SWAT officers in their parking lot was cool, Hall’s mind went to keeping his customers and staff safe when the situation appeared to get serious around the business.

“None of us knew what was happening at the time, so I don’t think they understood the urgency of what was going on and neither did I,” said Hall.

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The Henrico officers involved have been placed on administrative assignment pending an internal investigation.

Officials were asking witnesses of the events to come forward since it happened during the daylight in a usually busy part of the county.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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