News & Politics

Richmond Trooper Killed by Gunfire; Cop Killer in Custody After Overnight Manhunt

In this photo, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham and others pray after a news conference on Saturday, May 27, 2017 in Richmond, Va.. Authorities say Special Agent Michael T. Walter was shot Friday after he and a City of Richmond police officer approached a vehicle parked on a street in Mosby Court. Travis A. Ball is being held without bond on charges that include malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. (AP Photo/Alanna Durkin Richer)

A Virginia State Police special agent who was shot in Richmond Friday night after approaching a vehicle parked on the wrong side of the street died of his injuries early this morning.

The trooper, Michael T. Walter, succumbed to his injuries shortly after 5 a.m. at the VCU Medical Center.

A Richmond man, Travis A. Ball, 27, is now in custody following an overnight search by local, state and federal law enforcement agents across the Metro-Richmond region.

(Richmond City Jail/Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Ball is being held without bond and charged with one count of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Additional charges are pending.

Via the Chesapeake Today:

Special Agent Walter was riding with a City of Richmond Police Officer as part of the ongoing City-State Partnership between agencies. At approximately 7:25 p.m., the Richmond Police Officer, and Special Agent 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 Police Officer was talking with the driver, Special Agent Walter approached the passenger side where Ball was seated. Within moments, a single shot rang out and Ball was running from the car on foot.

The Richmond Police Officer immediately called for medical assistance and ran to Special Agent Walter’s aid. 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. The investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) Culpeper Field Office remains ongoing at this time.

“It was not an actual traffic stop. They just approached the vehicle,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. “They were just having a conversation with the individuals when the state police special agent was shot.”

“Ball fired one shot at Special Agent Michael Walter last night,” Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty said during a Saturday news conference.

The Richmond officer who was with Walter was not injured.

“I will tell you that there is no one else that Special Agent Mike Walter had rather been with than the Richmond officer he was with last night,” Flaherty said. “They were extremely close and worked together for quite a time.”

Flaherty thanked the officer for his quick actions and the aid he provided to Walter.

“And I know he’s having a very rough time too,” Flaherty said. “And our heart goes out to him.”

The Richmond Police Department and the Virginia State Police have shrouded their badges in honor of Special Agent Michael T. Walter:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued his condolences in a statement this morning:

“Dorothy and I are deeply saddened by the loss of Virginia State Police Special Agent Mike Walter, and we are heartbroken for his wife and children,” McAuliffe said. “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.

“As the community grieves, I ask my fellow Virginians to join me in praying for Mike’s family, friends, and fellow troopers who are suffering from this sudden loss,” the governor added. “No words can heal their pain, but we can all honor Mike’s memory by showing gratitude to those who protect and serve every day.”

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also offered condolences: “I am heartbroken over the loss of Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael T. Walter in a senseless act of violence here in our city last night,” Stoney said in a statement.

Special Agent Walter had served on the job for 18 years and was a former Marine. He leaves behind a wife, Jamie Walter, and three children, ages fourteen, nine and six.

There have been 52 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty thus far in 2017, an increase of 30% over last year according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Nineteen officers have been killed by gunfire, which is about even with last year at this time.