Man suspected of killing family members in Henrico captured in New York

Henrico double-shooting suspect Abdool Zaman was arrested in New York Tuesday morning (Source:...
Henrico double-shooting suspect Abdool Zaman was arrested in New York Tuesday morning (Source: Henrico Police)(Henrico Police)
Updated: Dec. 18, 2018 at 12:36 PM EST
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The man accused of shooting and killing two of his family members in Henrico last week has been apprehended.

Abdool Z. Zaman was arrested in New York Tuesday morning, Henrico police confirmed.

Henrico police said Zaman was arrested with the assistance of New York Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Office.

A close family member of one of the teens killed Thursday said the father of one of the girls killed them.

On Friday, Henrico Police identified the two 18-year-olds shot and killed as Leona Samlall and Vanessa Zaman. The medical examiner determined both teens died due to gunshot wounds to the head, and the manner of death was homicide.

Officers responded around 12:15 p.m. Thursday for a reported shooting in the 200 block of North Airport Drive in Highland Springs; one of the victims died on scene and another died at the hospital, sources said.

A family member of Vanessa Zaman, who is not being identified due to safety reasons, said Monday that Zaman is responsible for the death of the teens; he is Vanessa’s father.

Zaman was wanted on two counts of second-degree murder, according to police.

“I loved her with all of my heart,” Vanessa’s family member said Monday. “She has a brother who is devastated.”

The family member said Vanessa lived in a northern state but did not go into detail about why she was in Virginia.

“She was silly, bubbly … a comic,” the family member said. “She was incredibly smart.”

Vanessa Zaman was killed Thursday along with her cousin, Leona Samlall, in Highland Springs...
Vanessa Zaman was killed Thursday along with her cousin, Leona Samlall, in Highland Springs (Source: Family member of Zaman's)(Family member of Zaman's)

Vanessa’s family member went on to say the teen was raised by a single mother and had only recently talked about getting in contact with her father, Abdool Zaman, who reportedly lived in Florida.

“She reached out to him,” the family member said. “She knew him for two months and then this happened.”

According to the family member, Vanessa wanted to be a forensic psychologist and was currently living with Zaman since she was going to attend college in Florida.

“Our family is devastated; we want everyone to know she was loved,” the family member said. “It’s like the Grinch has stolen Christmas from us.”

The family member added Samlall was Vanessa’s cousin by marriage, but did not go into detail about her circumstances other than saying she was a “runaway”.

State Police records show Samlall had been on the missing children’s list for the last two years. Her last date of contact was recorded Oct. 14, 2016, meaning she’s been reported missing for the last 26 months.

On Monday, Henrico Police confirmed they were aware of this detail, but provided no further comment.

Henrico County Public School officials confirmed that Samlall was a student at Highland Springs High School about two years ago but withdrew.

Sunday night community members gathered outside the Oakmeade Apartments, where the shooting happened, for a vigil.

Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor was in attendance pledging her commitment to getting justice for Samlall and Zaman.

“Know that you have the full commitment of the Henrico Police Division and my office to find the individual who is responsible for this,” Taylor said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Henrico Police at 804-501-5000 or Crime Solvers at 804-780-1000.

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