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November 09, 2011
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Va. police fatally shoot suspect in woman's abduction

A gun-wielding suspect stole a car and took the female passenger hostage, authorities said

By PoliceOne Staff

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Police fatally shot an armed suspect who authorities said stole a car at gunpoint and took the female passenger hostage.

40-year-old Robert Christopher Burchfield, wielding a gun, reportedly forced out the male driver of the victim’s car. Burchfield drove away with the victim — his 34-year-old ex-girlfriend, investigators said — and led cops on a chase, according to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily.

About 10 minutes later, York County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Travis Smith found him behind a church, and deputies from the Newport News Police Department who were called in to assist successfully stopped the vehicle.

A standoff ensued when Burchfield would not follow police commands, according to a press release, and a member of the department’s Tactical Operations Unit fired his weapon. Burchfield died at the scene.

The female passenger was wounded and taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released, according to WAVY. Officers said she was alert as she went into the ambulance, and it was determined she was hit by debris and not gunfire.

Internal investigations are underway, according to reports. Two officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay.

The female told investigators that Burchfield sexually assaulted her shortly before the deputies spotted their vehicle.

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