RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in a Richmond public housing complex, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man’s arrest about an hour after the agent’s death.
Virginia State Police said Travis A. Ball of Richmond is being held without bond on charges that include malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Additional charges are pending.
Ball, 27, is charged in the shooting of Special Agent Michael T. Walter, who died early Saturday at VCU Medical Center in Richmond. Ball was taken into custody at a residence in Northumberland County about an hour after Walter died.
Walter had two sons— ages 14 and 9— and a 6-year-old daughter State Police Superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty said. He was an 18-year veteran of Virginia State Police and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Flaherty said.
Walter was promoted to special agent in 2010 and was working in drug enforcement in the state police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond field office. Outside of his work in law enforcement, he founded a nonprofit youth wrestling organization.
“We’re family. Like any family, these sorts of losses are incredibly tragic,” Flaherty said.
Walter was shot Friday night while on patrol with a City of Richmond police officer. The officers observed a Chevrolet Cobalt pull up to a curb on Redd Street and then pulled in behind the car.
The Richmond officer went to speak to the driver. Walter approached the passenger side of the car when a “single shot rang out,” according to the statement. Ball then took off after the shooting, sparking an overnight manhunt by eight local, state, federal law enforcement agencies.
The Richmond officer was not injured, police said. A handgun was recovered at the scene near the Chevrolet Cobalt.
Walter routinely partnered with the Richmond Police Department on investigative and patrol operatives, the statement said.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he and the first lady are heartbroken for Walter’s wife and children.
“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,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
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