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Deputies: Deadly home invasion suspect kills himself, accomplice in custody after pursuit

Michael Lee Barlow and Leonard Taylor Pippen.PNG
Posted at 1:47 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 12:29:38-05

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. -- Caroline County Deputies say the man wanted for killing a woman during a home invasion, killed himself after a police pursuit Monday morning. Investigators say his alleged accomplice is also in police custody.

Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa said deputies received a call for a report of a shooting and stolen vehicle at a home in the 29000 block of Sparta Road Saturday around 5:05 p.m.

Deputies say a husband and wife "interrupted" a man who had broken into their home. They say the husband went inside to check the residence.

Deputies say the suspect, 30-year-old Michael Lee Barlow, exited the residence through another door, shot a woman, then stole the homeowner's vehicle.

The victim, identified as 47-year-old Carla M Trost-Walker, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Carla M Trost-Walker

Lippa said the suspects in the burglary and murder where quickly identified thanks to tips from the public and surrounding law enforcement agencies.

"Suspects were identified, warrants were obtained, and digital surveillance began to help locate the suspects," said Lippa in a release. "After nearly 24 hours of diligent effort, the general location of the suspects was identified. Surveillance units began to move in the direction of the location in Goochland."

Deputies say a pursuit ensued when investigators from both Goochland and Caroline spotted the vehicle and the suspects and attempted to pull them over.

The pursuit continued on I-64 and ended in Albemarle County where the vehicle crashed after taking the Charlottesville exit.

"Deputies tried to stop them. They slowed down and at that point pointed a weapon outside at the Caroline deputy who then rammed the vehicle to prevent from being shot and as soon as that vehicle came to a rest the suspect, Mr. Barlow, killed himself," said Lippa at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Barlow was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger, 32-year-old Leonard Taylor Pippin, Jr, 32, was identified as the other suspect and was taken into custody. Investigators say Pippen appeared to be the getaway driver during the deadly home invasion.

Michael Lee Barlow and Leonard Taylor Pippen.PNG
Michael Lee Barlow and Leonard Taylor Pippen

Barlow, of Montpelier, had outstanding warrants for capital murder, attempted capital murder, armed robbery, breaking and entering, grand larceny, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony prior to his death.

Pippin, of Ashland, has been charged with first degree murder, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, and grand larceny.

Deputies say they believe the two men targeted the home because Barlow had done some work on the home several years earlier and knew where it was and what was inside.

"This entire event has been tragic. This was a senseless homicide. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Carla. I am so pleased at the work the men and women of your Sheriff's office, and our regional partners, have done so that these two dangerous individuals could be located," Lippa continued.

Lippa thanked several agencies that helped in the investigation and capture of the suspects: The Sheriffs Offices in Hanover, Goochland, and Louisa, Game and Inland Fisheries, US Marshal's Service, along with the Ashland and Albemarle Police departments.