UPDATE: Police are releasing new information about the events leading up to the shooting of Special Agent Michael T. Walter.
According to an updated statement from police, when Special Agent Walter and the Richmond Police officer he was with approached the suspect’s vehicle, it was not parked facing the wrong direction as police had previously said.
When the officers approached the vehicle, they found two men sitting inside the car. The officers walked up to the car in a consensual encounter and initiated a conversation with the driver.
During the course of the conversation, the driver got out of the car before suspected shooter Travis A. Ball stepped out of the vehicle on the passenger side where Special Agent Walter was standing.
Police said that a few minutes later, Ball shot Walter.
Police said that during the course of an investigation information can and often does evolve, hence the correction.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities have arrested a man who they believe is responsible for the shooting death of a Virginia State Police special agent.
Police arrested Travis A. Ball, 27, Saturday in connection with the shooting death of Special Agent Michael T. Walter. The shooting happened Friday night in Richmond’s Mosby Court neighborhood.
Timeline of what happened:
Around 7:30 p.m. Friday night in the 1900 block of Redd Street, near Coalter Street. Police say that Walter was participating in a joint operation with the Richmond Police Department.
Officials said there was a car parked on the wrong side of the road and when Special Agent Walter approached the car, the passenger fired a single shot and ran away. A handgun was recovered from the scene near the suspect’s vehicle.
Trooper Walter was rushed to VCU Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday.
“The Richmond officer that was with Mike right here, fortunately, was not injured,” said Colonel Steven Flaherty with VSP. “I will tell you that there’s no one else that special agent Mike Walter had rather been with than the Richmond officer he was with last night.”
About an hour later, Ball was found at a residence in Northumberland County. Police said he was taken into custody without incident. He is currently being held without bond on the arrest warrants obtained for him Friday night of 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.
Considered as one of the most violent and dangerous neighborhoods in Richmond, Mosby Court has been home to six of the 19 homicides that have occurred in the city this year. There have also been 19 individuals shot in the Mosby community in 2017.
“This has been one of the most challenging communities in the city this year,” RPD Chief Alfred Durham explained. “The challenge is we have bad people in this community.”
“Be the change that you want to see,” Chief Durham said. “Nobody should be able to come in here and wreak havoc as such to have somebody lose their life: Mike made the ultimate sacrifice yesterday. When Mike suited up and came to work and left his family, we would have never thought that he would not be going home.”
Brian Walker is the Chaplain for Soul Winning Soldiers and takes children in Mosby Court to church on Saturdays. He said the violence seen in Mosby Court, impacts the children and their families every day.
“It hadn’t been that long ago that I brought a bicycle to a young man that lives around the corner from here,” Walker said. “Within a week there was a killing at his front door at 7 a.m. He’s got to witness that. I know the young fellow we had trouble with him that day and I had to minister with him and he’s just full of anxiety. I guess it’s the hopelessness too. You know, where to go? What to do? How can I escape from this? Even if I know what to escape toward.”
Richmond Police Chief Durham said it was tips from the community that helped authorities track down the suspect.
“I want to thank everybody for their support the phone calls especially those who gave tips,” Chief Durham said. “A lot of folks say people don’t talk. People talk, you know why? They’re fed up, and you should be too.”
Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Virginia State Police at 804-553-3445 or #77 on a cell phone or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can also be called in to the Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or to Richmond Police by calling 911.
If you would like to make a donation to support the family of Special Agent Walter, the Virginia State Police Association asks that you do it through them at this website. 100 percent of the donation will go to his family. Be sure to write “Walter’s Family” in the comments section when donating.
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PHOTOS: VSP trooper shot in Mosby Court x
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