Hopewell murder suspect arrested

Hopewell murder suspect arrested
Source: NBC12
Source: NBC12

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - A 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged with 1st degree murder in a shooting that left a 29-year-old man dead in Hopewell.

The shooting happened in the 1900 block of Warren Avenue around 11:10 a.m. on Jan. 9. When police arrived on the scene, they found the body of Willie Earl Cromartie, 29, of Hopewell, with gunshot wounds and lying dead on the sidewalk.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force captured the suspect - Randolph Len Taylor Jr., of Petersburg - without incident.

Willie's sister, Sharnice Cromartie, said she saw it unfold.

"The guy ended up firing off one shot and then my brother started slipping, but he wasn't shot yet. Then when the guy got himself together, he stood up and shot my brother in the head, right in front of me," said Cromartie.

Cromartie says her brother would have been 30 years old later this month and had a son.

In addition to the murder charge, Taylor faces a use of a firearm in the commission of a felony charge. He's being held at Riverside Regional Jail.

"It was through a coordinated and vigilant investigative effort that this violent offender was rapidly identified, arrested and removed from the street within 36 hours of his crime," said Lt. Paul Intravia, of the Hopewell Police Criminal Investigations Division.

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