Officials release account of police chase

Press release from Henrico County Police

Henrico County - On July 26, 2011, at approximately 10:55 a.m., James City County police officers received an alarm from a jewelry store located in the 4000 block of Monticello Lane.  Authorities there discovered that a take-over style robbery occurred moments before and the suspects fled out of a rear door.  An alert witness provided authorities with a vehicle description, resulting in the dispatching of a regional 'bolo' announcement.  The suspects eventually traveled out of James City County.

At approximately 11:25 a.m., after receiving the 'bolo', a Charles City deputy sheriff spotted the vehicle traveling on Route 5.  Recognizing that the suspects were approaching the line of jurisdiction, the deputy contacted Henrico Police for assistance.  Henrico Police and Virginia State Police units engaged in the pursuit with the suspect's vehicle at Route 5 and the Henrico/Charles City line.  The events of the pursuit and shots being fired are as follows:  The suspect vehicle entered Henrico at Rt. 5 (New Market Road) and the Charles City line.  The suspects immediately traveled onto I-295(N) to Route 60 (Williamsburg Road) turning right onto Technology Boulevard.  As the pursuit approached Elko Tract, the vehicle stopped and one subject, later identified as 40 year-old Eric D. Roach, bailed out of the vehicle and ran into a wooded area.  The lone occupant exchanged gunfire with Henrico officers, before continuing to flee in the vehicle.

During the course of the pursuit, gunshots were exchanged between the suspect and Henrico Police at several locations before the vehicle came to rest in the area of Charles City Road near Williamsburg Road.

Once the suspect vehicle crashed, S.W.A.T. team members were used to take him into custody. That subject was transported to the VCU Medical Center with life threatening injuries.

Once the crash scene stabilized, public safety resources were redirected to the area of Technology Boulevard and Elko Tract to assist officers with the search for Eric Roach as well as process the scene.

According to Sergeant Thomas Molnar of the Virginia State Police, special agents with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Richmond Field Office, responded to Technology Boulevard just west of Elko Tract Road in the east end of Henrico County.

The trooper was assisting Henrico Police with the pursuit when a suspect inside the vehicle shot at the trooper. The round struck the hood of his marked patrol vehicle and ricochet striking the driver's side windshield. The trooper suffered minor injuries from the glass shards to his right arm and did not return fire.

The Virginia State Police Crime Scene Technicians processed the scene along with Henrico County Investigators to collect evidence in connection to the case and to interview the trooper and any witnesses.   Both agencies are investigating due to the troopers' vehicle being shot and the Henrico Police Officer involved shooting.

The search for the pictured suspect (at right) continued until 11:45 p.m. Henrico Officers and Virginia State Troopers remained in the area through the overnight into the morning hours.

The investigation is still on-going and additional information will be given as it becomes available.