DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) -- Virginia State Police say a trooper was shot and killed off of Interstate 85 Thursday afternoon and the man they say murdered him was arraigned Friday morning.
Virginia State Police say Master State Trooper J.A. Walker had conducting a traffic stop in Dinwiddie County when he was shot multiple times, and 28-year-old Russell E. Brown of Chesterfield was found hiding at a business about a half-mile away.
According to police, a trooper responding to a shots fired call around 1:30 p.m. Thursday found a Walker's patrol car on fire in the woods off the right side of the southbound lanes of I-85.
Police say that trooper witnessed Brown standing outside the patrol car, allegedly firing a weapon into it and killing Trooper Walker and then running into the woods.
A second responding officer fired at Brown as he fled. He was found about 40 minutes later.
In Dinwiddie General District Court Friday, the judge said Brown will be appointed two attorneys (because it is a capital case). He's due in court on March 18 for a review of those counselors and for a prelminary hearing date to be set, according to WRIC-TV.
Master Trooper Walker is survived by his wife and two adult children. He joined the Department March 1st, 1973. He had spent 29 years patrolling Dinwiddie County.
"It's just a terrible loss," said Nancy Mayer, who knows the Walker family. "The state lost a fine man, a good citizen, a very fine citizen to be killed in the line of the duty. It's the worst thing."
Governor Bob McDonnell said of the tragedy, "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.
Police shut down a section of Interstate 85 in Dinwiddie County south of Richmond after the shooting. The incident occurred at the 45-mile marker. Southbound traffic is being detoured off at Exit 48.
Brown is charged with capital murder of a police officer, attempted capital murder of a police officer and faces firearms charges as well. He's in the Meherrin River Regional Jail in Alberta.