RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – One of their fellow soldiers was wounded, not in combat, but on the streets of Richmond, and now a group of local marines is reaching out. The vets are raising money for a reward fund to catch the suspect, who shot a marine during a robbery in Church Hill.
In the tradition of covert ops, the marines have given the victim the code name "Toaster." They're hoping the "Operation Toaster" reward fund will help bring the shooting suspect to justice.
There's an old saying, "once a marine always a marine." It describes a bond among soldiers.
So when Steve Farmer heard about the attack on a marine, who was shot and left for dead during a January robbery in Church Hill, he was moved to action.
"This one was personal," Farmer explained. "It was in our own backyard. It was in Richmond."
Even though Farmer didn't serve with the victim or even know him, he took it as his personal mission to contact the Richmond detective on the case and find out how to help. Police need to know who shot the marine even after he complied with demands. They've released a suspect sketch but haven't yet identified the man.
"I'll tell you what, the people in the neighborhood know this guy," Farmer believes. "They know who did it. The thing of it is they're not moving off of it because it's not enough motivation yet."
"Operation Toaster Fund" is motivation in itself. It was started just a few weeks ago, but so far it has less than one hundred dollars. The local marines are asking the public to step up for a man who put his life on the line serving the country, only to be shot here at home. Farmer said it's a sad reality but they'll pay for justice.
"He's told somebody about this," Farmer explained. "I'm sure he has. Somebody else knows that this guy has done this and he needs to pay for it. It's time to go to jail."
You can go to any Village Bank to donate to the reward. Just ask for the "Operation Toaster Fund."
And, if you have anything that can help detectives, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.