Travis Ball, a 27-year-old Richmond man, is accused in the shooting death of Virginia State Trooper Michael Walter.
Virginia’s governor released a statement mourning Walter’s death after the shooting, which occurred after a traffic stop on May 26.
“Special Agent Walter was one of our brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives every single day to protect their fellow Virginians. We will be forever grateful for his service and sacrifice,” Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Shot Rang Out When the Trooper Approached a Car
Walter was riding with a City of Richmond Police Officer as part of an ongoing city-state partnership between their agencies, according to a news release by Virginia State Police. At about 7:25 p.m., the Richmond police officer and Walter observed a silver Chevrolet Cobalt pull up to the curb in the 1900 block of Redd Street. The officer and special agent pulled in behind the Cobalt and walked up to the car to initiate a conversation as part of a consensual encounter.
As the Richmond officer was talking to the driver, Walter approached the passenger side where Ball was allegedly seated.
“Within moments, a single shot rang out,” said the statement.
2. A Brief Manhunt Ensued for Ball
After the shot rang out, Ball is accused of running away from the scene. A manhunt launched to find him.
The Richmond officer called for medical assistance and ran to Walter’s agent. The Richmond officer was not injured in the shooting. The driver of the car remained at the scene and was detained by Richmond Police.
A handgun was recovered at the scene near the Chevrolet Cobalt, according to the state police statement.
The police news release said that the state police and U.S. Marshals captured Ball in a residence in Northumberland County around 6 a.m. on May 27. He was taken into custody without incident and was being held without bond on arrest warrants.
3. The Slain Trooper Was Remembered as a Public Servant Trying to Protect the Community
The governor said that Walter was married with children, and he released a statement thanking those who protect and serve the community and mourning Walter’s death.
Police and members of the community joined together in prayer for the slain trooper.
4. Ball Is a Convicted Felon
Ball has a serious criminal history.
The arrest warrants sought Ball for malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the police news release said. More charges are pending.
5. The Trooper Died in a Richmond Hospital a Few Hours After the Shooting
Walter clung to life for several hours but then died from his injuries. The trooper had served on the job for 18 years.
Special Agent Walter died shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond, the release said.
This article will be updated as more is learned about the suspect and trooper.