RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An attempted robbery in downtown Richmond Monday led to a carjacking, hostage situation, lockdowns at three local schools and a police chase that ended in Church Hill. Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham says that the incident started at a gas station on 26th and Main streets.
An armed suspect approached two victims at a BP gas station demanding money though neither of the victims had any money. The suspect then demanded that the victims take him to a bank. When one victim was sent into the 1111 East Main Street Bank of America, he notified police.
When police arrived on the scene, the suspect forced the remaining hostage to drive, leading the police on a chase through From city center through northside, into Henrico County on Mechanicsville Turnpike, back through northside, and then into Church Hill. The chase ended at 25th and R Streets in Church Hill after police used road spikes, causing the vehicle to crash. The suspect then shot the victim in the head and began to fire his weapon at police. The suspect was captured after he was shot by a Richmond police officer.
According to Durham, the victim who went into the bank was unharmed. The other victim and suspect are both being treated for life-threatening injuries at a local hospital. The suspect is in critical condition.
Neither victim nor suspect has been identified by the police as of yet.
Armstrong High School, Stuart Elementary, and George Mason Elementary were all placed on lockdown while the car chase was happening. All lockdowns since have been lifted.
What to do in a carjacking — your questions answered
Some of our 8News viewers have been asking, what to do in a situation like this? 8News reached out to a local retired police captain, Steve Neal. He says there is no clear-cut answer in these type of situations.
“Generally you don’t want to get in the car with the bad guy,” he said. “Nothing good usually happens at the second scene.”
However, Neal says if they are pointing a gun at you and you chose to resist that could be deadly. He says the individual has to use their best judgement and “go with their gut.”
Some of you have also asked, why Richmond Police shot at the car with the hostage still inside? 8News Investigators have reviewed the Richmond Police Department’s general orders for use of deadly force. While the orders state “Firearms should not be discharged if it appears that an innocent person may be injured,” it also states deadly force may be used to, “protect officers or others from what is reasonably believed to be an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury.”
Durham told reporters the suspect pointed a gun at police after shooting the hostage. Neal tells 8News an officer’s first goal is to rescue the victim.
“Once that hostage was shot, police needed to neutralize the suspect so they can get to the victim and get them the medical attention they need,” Neal explained.
8News is working to collect more details. We’ll update you on air and online.