RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The shooting death of Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael T. Walter has affected many throughout the area. Among these are the people that knew him best, his family, the Virginia State Police community and the youth wrestling and community outreach organization that he founded.
But beyond that, community members and prominent figures throughout Virginia are speaking out in response to Friday’s tragic events.
Here is what they had to say:
Virginia State Police Colonel W. Steven Flaherty in a statement to the press said, “It’s a difficult time for the Virginia State Police family the Richmond Police family and the Walter family … Nobody held back. Everybody went the extra mile to make a difference and make an arrest in this case … We’re a family and with any family, these sorts of things have a significant impact, but I can say that this has made our resolve stronger.”
The Powhatan Youth Wrestling and Community Development Corporation/Blackhawk Wrestling, which Walter founded, said the following: “The Powhatan Youth Wrestling and Community Development Corporation “Blackhawk Wrestling” is shocked and saddened by the tragic murder of our founder and president, Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael T. Walker. Coach Mike founded our organization in 2008 and has passionately built our club to the organization we are today. His passion for wrestling and unique networking ability stretched throughout the Virginia wrestling community and beyond. Coach Mike ensured that our organization stayed focused on not only wrestling as a sport but our more important goal of developing our members into solid citizens. He demanded a high standard of character, integrity and personally encouraged and modeled for the youth in the community and the Blackhawk wrestlers the importance of making the right choices in life. Coach Mike measured our successes not just by wins and losses in the wrestling room, but by how many children and young adults were helped regardless of their past or their socio-economic status. As an organization, we will continue Coach Mike’s legacy and outreach to the community.”
Richmond City Police Chief Alfred Durham: “There have been six homicides in Mosby Court just this year … “At some point, we have to get it together as a people, as a community, as a city and say we’re not going to tolerate this anymore.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney: “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. Richmond joins the entire law enforcement community in mourning the loss of this fallen hero and brave public servant, who worked every day to keep the rest of us safe. I ask my fellow citizens to keep Special Agent Walter’s wife and children in their thoughts and prayers in the difficult days ahead, and to honor his service with a renewed commitment to a safer, more peaceful city.”
Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille: “This is a hard circumstance,” she said. “No matter how you slice it, this is difficult for the community, for police professionals, and we want to make sure that we, city council, provide the support to make this a quick resolution.”
Governor Terry McAuliffe: “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of VSP Special Agent Mike Walter. We are eternally indebted to him for his service and sacrifice. Our hearts are with Mike’s family, friends, and fellow troopers who are suffering from this unthinkable tragedy.”
Virginia Speaker of the House William J. Howell: “Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Virginia State Police officer Michael T. Walter. We are forever grateful for his service.”
Virginia House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring: “State Police risk their lives every day to keep their fellow Virginians safe, and we are saddened to hear that Special Agent Walter lost his life in the line of duty last night. We are profoundly grateful to him and to all the men and women who protect the people of the Commonwealth through the noble calling that is law enforcement. Our hearts are with Special Agent Walter’s family in the wake of this devastating loss.”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.