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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sexual assault suspect killed by police

11-6-2011 Virginia:

Suspect accused of sexual assault, abduction

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Two investigations are underway following a pursuit and standoff that ended with police killing an armed suspect.

The man was wanted for an abduction in York County, where police say he took a woman hostage at gunpoint at the Belmont At York Apartments on Saint Clair Circle. Police were first alerted to the situation at around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

About 20 minutes later, a deputy spotted the suspect's car at a church in Newport News. "When he saw the vehicle, the windows were fogged, he shined a light on the vehicle, gave explicit orders to shut the vehicle down," said Lt. Dennis Ivey, Jr. with the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office.

The suspect refused to stop.

Newport News police officers and York-Poquoson Sheriff deputies chased the suspect into a cul-de-sac at the end of Spring Trace Lane off Saunders Road.

When the Newport News tactical team arrived, neighbors who had gathered outside quickly took cover. "We were down there and one of the neighbors said we should probably get behind this wall and not even a minute after we got behind the wall we heard the gunshots," Caitlin Roberts told

During the standoff, one member of the Tactical Team opened fire and shot the suspect, who died at the scene. Police have identified the suspect as 40-year-old Robert Burchfield of Hampton. The female passenger was wounded and taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released. She was alert and talking to officers as she went into the ambulance. Police determined she was hit by flying debris and not gunfire.

The female victim is a 34-year-old York County woman. She told investigators that she was sexually assaulted by Burchfield in the 1000 block of Harpersville Road in Newport News, moments before deputies spotted their vehicle.

Investigators say the victim was Burchfield's ex-girlfriend.

A criminal investigation is being conducted by the Newport News Police Department's Homicide Unit. The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office will determine whether or not the shooting was justified. Meanwhile, an administrative internal investigation is underway. The officer who fired his weapon and a second officer have been placed on administrative leave with pay. ..Source.. by Jane AlvarezWertz

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