CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Police Department has announced that two suspects have been charged in the murder shooting of a man who attempted to thwart a car break-in outside his home last year.
The shooting reportedly occurred around 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2022, on the 14000 block of North Carriage Lane.
Police said they received a 911 call from the victim’s girlfriend and when they arrived, they found 56-year-old Robert C. Ashburn lying in the driveway. Emergency crews attempted to save Ashburn’s life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation revealed that Ashburn had left his residence to head to work when he saw an unknown person going through his girlfriend’s unlocked vehicle, according to police. Ashburn reportedly attempted to confront the suspect and was shot. The suspect then ran away, according to police.
In November 2022, police released a video captured by a surveillance camera in the area that showed the suspect rummaging through the vehicle. It also captured moments before the shooting in which the suspect can be heard saying, “Bro, stop. Bro, stop. Bro, stop, bro.”
After an extensive investigation, 25-year-old Asuntae M. Barksdale of Richmond was arrested in connection to the shooting on Nov. 18, 2022. Barksdale was charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Further investigation, led to the discovery that Barksdale had actually been pulled over by Chesterfield police on the night of the shooting. Detectives reviewed bodycam footage of the traffic stop and saw that there had been two other people inside the vehicle with Barksdale that night.
Avontae M. Smith, 21, of Richmond was identified by police as one of the two other occupants. Smith was arrested on Nov. 29, 2022, and was charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection to the shooting.
Detectives managed to also identify the third person in the vehicle but it was determined — after consultation with the Chesterfield County Commonswealth’s Attorney’s Office — that they were not charged in connection to the incident.
Police are continuing to investigate. Anyone with information relating to the incident is encouraged to contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251.