Man accused of killing daughter, niece, dies of suspected suicide in Henrico jail

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The man accused of fatally shooting his teen daughter and niece in Henrico last December has died by suspected suicide inside a county jail, authorities confirmed to 8News.

Earlier this year, Abdool Z. Zaman was indicted on two capital murder charges in relation to the deaths of his 18-year-old daughter, Vanessa Zaman, and niece, Leona Samlall, who were both gunned down at a Highland Springs apartment complex on December 13.

The medical examiner later ruled both girls died from gunshot wounds to the head

Major Lathem, of Henrico County Sheriff’s Office, told 8News Zaman was found hanging in a cell on the one-year anniversary of the shooting. He was immediately cut down by staff, who then started CPR.

Staff was relieved by New Kent Fire and Rescue a short time later. He was pronounced dead at 4:45 p.m. by a New Kent ER Physician. 

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Henrico County Sheriff-Elect Alisa Gregory told 8News Zaman was found 30 minutes earlier, around 4:15 p.m.

“There were indications in writing and I’m not sure whether they were just maybe notes or just writings in the cell so there have been a few things that have been found that may have given some indication to his mindset,” Gregory said.

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Gregory adds that the holiday season is usually a hard time for inmates.

“It is a very volatile time for those that find themselves incarcerated,” she added.

New Kent Sheriff’s Office is investigating. 

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