Virginia State Police Trooper Shot

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

July 1, 2005

A Virginia State Police trooper was shot early this morning after trying to stop a vehicle for speeding on Big Bethel Road near the Hampton Roads Center Parkway.

Just before 1:00 a.m., Trooper R.S. Bowers, Jr. observed a 1995 Acura Legend, traveling 79 miles per hour in a posted 45 mile per hour speed zone. When the trooper activated his vehicle's emergency lights and siren, the driver of the speeding vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed, attempting to drive away from the trooper.

After a short pursuit, the driver lost control of the vehicle, ran off the roadway and crashed into a residence in the 1400 block of Big Bethel Road. The driver then exited his vehicle and ran away on foot.

The trooper pursued the driver for approximately a half mile on foot before the driver turned and started shooting at the trooper. The trooper then returned fire striking the driver. The shootout occurred in the first block of Ponderosa Drive in Hampton.

The driver, 28-year-old Rico Latrell Burnett, of the 100 block of Seminary Ridge in Hampton, was shot twice by the trooper. Burnett's wound were in the stomach and shoulder. Trooper Bowers, who was wearing a ballistic vest was struck in his shoulder, above the vest, and in his leg. The trooper and the accused were both transported to Riverside Hospital in Newport News.

Burnett has been charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony, possession of marijuana, reckless driving so as to endanger life, limb, or property. Additional charges are pending.

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