Man says Chester shooting was preventable

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - New information about a shooting in Chester that happened earlier this week. The owner of a van, turned get-a-way car says calls made to Richmond police, could have prevented the shooting from ever happening.

We thought Tuesday's crime started at 10 a.m. in Chester when two contractors were held up-- one of them shot. But five hours earlier in south Richmond John Wombie was hunched over, cleaning out his van. When he stood up and turned around-- two guns were pointed at him.

"I turned around. (And they were on either side of you?) Yes. (And you weren't scared?)  I don't know why, but I never even got nervous," said John.

5 a.m. Tuesday: a stranded 67-year-old John Wombie watched a pair of criminals drive off in his 1993 blue Astro van.

When asked what they looked like he said, "They had on ski-masks. I couldn't tell you, it was dark."

John called the cops and his pals- asking them to keep a look out. He cherished that van. It once belonged to his murdered brother.

"That's the reason I didn't want to get rid of the van. I said I was going to run it until it just fell on the ground," John said.

Later that morning, the van turned get-a-way car for the criminal duo that shot a contractor.

John says one of his friends spotted it before the shooting and called police.

"You know, you've got two guys with a gun. To me, that's a top priority. And they said, 'well we'll get to it when we can,'" John said.

We wanted to verify that 911 call, but Richmond police are not releasing information. John says if police stopped that van and arrested the pair-- a Chesterfield man would not have been shot in his arm.

The van was found abandoned in Richmond Tuesday night. But John says police didn't tell him. We aired that information Thursday-- that's how John found out. The Chesterfield man who was shot is recovering at home tonight. The two armed criminals are still on the loose.

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