Virginia Trooper Shot, Killed

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<p>This photo provided by the Virginia State Police shows Master Trooper Junius Walker. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says Walker, who was involved in a shooting along Interstate 85 in southeastern Virginia has died. McDonnell says he was shot while on duty on Thursday, March 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Virginia State Police)</p>

Editor's note: Sources at the Richmond-Times Dispatch say the suspect is Russell E. Brown, 28, of Chesterfield.

DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia State Police trooper was shot and killed during a traffic stop off Interstate 85 Thursday and a suspect was arrested after exchanging fire with another trooper, authorities said.

Photos from the Scene

State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Master Trooper Junius A. Walker, 63, was shot multiple times.

Walker, who was patrolling alone as most troopers do, called for backup after being fired upon just before 1:30 p.m. in southeastern Virginia. The second trooper arrived within two minutes and saw a male suspect firing into Walker's marked police vehicle, which was down an embankment off the southbound lanes of the interstate near the woods, Geller said.

The second trooper fired at the suspect, who fled into the woods. He was found nearby and was arrested before 2 p.m. The suspect was not immediately identified. Charges were pending.

"We're trying to determine if there was a second individual involved," Geller said at a news conference near the scene in Dinwiddie County, just south of Richmond.

Geller said authorities found a weapon and were trying to determine if it was the one used in the shooting.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said Walker was a 35-year veteran of the state police.

"Virginia's public safety professionals are on the front lines every day protecting their fellow citizens from harm and pursuing those individuals whose actions put others in danger," McDonnell said. "These men and women are heroes who place their lives on the line to protect their fellow Virginians."

McDonnell expressed condolences to Walker's wife, two adult daughters and the rest of his family, friends and colleagues.

"Virginia has lost a brave public servant and hero," McDonnell said.

Authorities shut down a section of Interstate 85 near the 45-mile marker where the shooting occurred, and Geller said it likely would be closed for several hours. Southbound traffic was being detoured off at Exit 48.

Statement from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell,

"Virginia's public safety professionals are on the front lines every day protecting their fellow citizens from harm and pursuing those individuals whose actions put others in danger. These men and women are heroes who place their lives on the line to protect their fellow Virginians. Today, Virginia lost one of its heroes. Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and Department of  State Police, as we mourn the loss of Master Trooper Walker who was killed in the line of duty today after 40 years of service.

 "Sadly, since I have been governor, I have spoken with the families of our fallen law enforcement officers far too often. Each time we lose another officer, I am reminded of the sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals and their loved ones make each and every day. There are no words from me or anyone else that can take away the pain these families feel when they are notified that their husband, wife, child, mother, father, brother or sister will not return home from their shift. On behalf of all 8 million of the citizens of the Commonwealth, I offer our heartfelt condolences and gratitude for the sacrifices these families have made to keep us all safe. Today, I offer such condolences to Master Trooper Walker's wife Betty, his two daughters Vera and Clarissa, and the rest of his family, friends, and colleagues.  Our prayers are with them during this difficult time. Virginia has lost a brave public servant and hero."


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



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