Coworker says suspect was jilted lover

By Laura Geller - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – We've uncovered new information about a deadly standoff in Henrico County.  We've learned what may have started this domestic dispute in the first place.  A woman who worked with the three adults involved said a jilted lover is to blame.

The woman, who asked that we not reveal her identity, said "This seems like a horror movie that this even occurred."

She chokes up at the sound of Ryan Chhuom's name.

"I can't imagine what he suffered," she said.

The 24-year-old victim was found with a single gunshot wound to the chest. His alleged murderer, Antonio Farris, was taken into custody after police said he held a woman and two children hostage for two hours.

The coworker is employed at a nearby nursing home with the three people involved.  She explained up until this Saturday, Farris and the woman held hostage lived together. She moved out of their home and into the Cardinal Forest apartment complex amid accusations of domestic violence and his infidelity.  But Chhuom told his coworker he and the woman were just friends.

"He had faith, a lot of faith in this world and that may have been his downfall," she said.  "He didn't seem to want to be in any sort of altercation at any time. That was just not his nature."

The woman said just last Thursday Chhuom told her he felt threatened by Farris' behavior.  Still, she can't believe what the 33-year-old is now accused of doing.

"He was at times rash and blunt and abrasive but he also had a softer side to him at times," she said.

Farris remains behind bars tonight he's facing first degree murder and firearms charges.

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