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DINWIDDIE COUNTY - A Chesterfield County man has been charged with the capital murder of a Virginia State Police master trooper on Interstate 85 Thursday.
Master Trooper Junius A. Walker, a 40-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, died from multiple gunshot wounds after the Thursday afternoon incident in Dinwiddie County, just south of Dewitt.
State Police have charged 28-year-old Russell E. Brown of Chesterfield County with Walker's murder. He is charged with one count of capital murder of a police officer. Brown was arraigned Friday morning in court, and will have attorneys appointed for him.
According to State Police, Walker pulled up next to a sedan which was stopped on the side of Interstate 85 South just after 1 p.m. The man in the sedan, believed to be Brown, opened fire on Walker. Walker's patrol car ran off of the side of the road and came to rest 30 feet from the lanes of travel.
A responding trooper witnessed the suspect standing outside of Walker's patrol car, State Police officials said. The two exchanged gunfire before the suspect fled into the woods.
It remains unclear why the suspect was pulled off onto the side of the road or why he opened fire.
Just before 2:00 pm, the Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office apprehended Brown, who was attempting to hide at a nearby business. He was then taken into State Police custody.
"Today, Virginia lost one of its heroes. Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and Department of State Police, as we mourn the loss of Master Trooper Walker who was killed in the line of duty today after 40 years of service," Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.
Trooper Walker leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
"Master Trooper Walker was a highly-respected and long-time veteran of our Department, which has made his shocking death especially hard on the Virginia State Police family," said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "For 35 years he served us proud as a mentor to multitudes of new troopers, as a valued partner and colleague to his fellow Area 7 troopers, and as a true friend and protector of the Dinwiddie County community. He was and always will be one of Virginia's Finest."
Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.