CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Relatives and classmates stopped by the Chestertowne Shopping Center on Beulah Road Monday to light a candle in memory of Jacob Baumgart, the 15-year-old student at Meadowbrook High School who was killed by an off-duty officer during an apparent attempted robbery.
Chesterfield Schools said parents were notified that students had been made aware of the death of one of their classmates.
“The principal shared with parents that students were made aware of the death of one of their peers. The school had additional student support services yesterday and will continue to have them available as needed.” — Chesterfield County Public Schools
Classmates, meanwhile, told 8News they are struggling to cope with the loss.
“He was a really nice person,” classmate Maria Barrera said. “I mean, he was so sweet.”
The collection of candles marked the spot in the shopping center parking lot where the Chesterfield teen was shot and killed early Monday by an off-duty Richmond police officer in what appears to have been an Xbox sale gone horribly wrong.
Police have since identified the officer as Robert Misegades.
“I heard like pop, pop, pop around 12:30 last night as I laid down,” recalled neighbor Joanne Craig, who lives next to the shopping center and heard the gunfire.
Chesterfield police tell 8News a meeting for the Xbox deal was arranged at the shopping center on social media through a third party. We’re told Misegades was accompanying his friend in the exchange.
During the transaction, police say the teen pulled out a pistol and attempted to rob the officer’s friend. Misegades then exchanged gunfire. Both were hit, and Baumgart died at the scene.
Friends can’t seem to make sense of the incident, saying Baumgart was a good kid. They had no idea he had a gun and they were just in church with him yesterday.
“He wasn’t a bad person,” Barrera said. “Maybe that is something, was something, that happened because he doesn’t know what he was doing.”
Another mystery is why the Richmond officer would participate in a late-night deal in a dark, empty parking lot, something the Richmond police department constantly warns citizens not to do.
The department is on record reminding citizens using craigslist and other online selling sites to meet in the daytime and public places like cafes and restaurants.
“The thing that concerns us the most in the Richmond police department are the individual robberies,” Major Scott Booth said back in December 2014. “Make sure you know the area that you’re going into. If you don’t know the area do some research.”
Police said Misegades was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery. The incident is still under investigation.