CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield man was murdered in his own driveway as he tried to deter a burglar from stealing items out of his girlfriend’s car, according to police.

It happened in the 14000 block of North Carriage Lane around 3:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 31.

Police said they received a 911 call from the victim’s girlfriend reporting the shooting. When they arrived, officers found 56-year-old Robert C. Ashburn lying in the driveway. Emergency crews attempted to save the man’s life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Hard to believe something like this happened here,” said Christine Bell, who lives nearby. “I’ve lived here in Midlothian for about 20 years now and have never heard of anything like this happening so close to home.” 

The investigation shows Ashburn was heading to work when he saw the suspect going through his girlfriend’s vehicle. Captain Michael Breeden said surveillance video shows Ashburn, who was unarmed, yelling for the suspect to ‘stop,’ and ‘no’ before he was shot.

The killer then ran away from the scene, and has not been caught.

“Right now we do not have any description of the suspect at all,” Capt. Breeden said. “He was last seen running down toward Coalfield Road.” 

Breeden believes this was a random act, and says there will more patrols in the area. He confirms the department does not receive calls for service in this area.

Still, the situation is leaving neighbors like Bell on edge.

“It’s very scary,” she said. “A lot of the people are older and have lived here for many years. Just knowing that it was so close.”

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

“If they have found that their car has been broken into and dismissed it, we’re asking folks to give us a call so we can respond and take a report…Particularly in the Coalfield Road area and surrounding that,” Capt. Breedan said.

He also encourages people to be more cautious before approaching anyone suspicious.

“We are reminding the community, if you encounter someone, do not go out and confront them yourself. Call police and let us do our job, so we can take care of the situation to avoid this type of situation,” he said.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251.