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Virginia loses 'a brave public servant': Veteran state trooper shot dead

Virginia State Police via AP

Hailed as a "hero," Master Trooper Junius Walker was shot dead on Thursday.

A Virginia State Police trooper was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Thursday, and a suspect was arrested after exchanging fire with another trooper, authorities said.

Master Trooper Junius A. Walker, 60, was shot multiple times, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

Walker, who was patrolling alone, called for backup after being fired upon just before 1:30 p.m. ET.

The second trooper arrived within two minutes and saw a male suspect firing into Walker's marked police vehicle, which was down an embankment off the southbound lanes of Interstate 85, Geller said.

The second trooper fired at the suspect, who fled into nearby woods. He was found nearby and was arrested before 2 p.m. The suspect was not immediately identified. Charges were pending.

“We're trying to determine if there was a second individual involved,” Geller said at a news conference near the scene in Dinwiddie County, just south of Richmond.

Virginia State Police

The scene of the fatal shooting of Master Trooper Junius Walker, off Interstate 85 in Virginia.

Geller said authorities found a weapon and were trying to determine if it was the one used in the shooting.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said Walker was a 40-year veteran of the state police.

“Virginia's public safety professionals are on the front lines every day protecting their fellow citizens from harm and pursuing those individuals whose actions put others in danger,” McDonnell said. “These men and women are heroes who place their lives on the line to protect their fellow Virginians.”

McDonnell expressed condolences to Walker's wife, two daughters and the rest of his family, friends and colleagues.

“Virginia has lost a brave public servant and hero,” McDonnell said.

The Associated Press