RICHMOND – A Richmond man is now in custody following an overnight search by local, state and federal law enforcement across the Metro-Richmond region after a Virginia State Police Special Agent was shot and killed. The State Police and U.S. Marshals apprehended Travis A. Ball, 27, of Richmond, Va., at a residence in Northumberland County shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday. He was taken into custody without further incident. Ball is being held without bond on the arrest warrants obtained for him Friday night of one count of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Virginia State Police said additional charges are pending.
Ball is charged with shooting Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael T. Walter.
According to a release, Special Agent Walter died from his injuries shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday at VCU Medical Center in Richmond.
Special Agent Walter was riding with a City of Richmond Police Officer as part of the ongoing City-State Partnership between agencies. At approximately 7:25 p.m., the Richmond Police Officer and Special Agent Walter observed a silver Chevrolet Cobalt pull up to the curb in the 1900 block of Redd Street. The officer and special agent pulled in behind the Cobalt and walked up to the car to initiate a conversation as part of a consensual encounter. As the Richmond Police Officer was talking with the driver, Special Agent Walter approached the passenger side where Ball was seated. Within moments, a single shot rang out and Ball was running from the car on foot.
The Richmond Police Officer immediately called for medical assistance and ran to Special Agent Walter’s aid. The Richmond Officer was not injured in the shooting.
The driver of the car remained at the scene and was detained by Richmond Police.
A handgun was recovered at the scene near the Chevrolet Cobalt. The investigation by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) Culpeper Field Office remains ongoing at this time.
Special Agent Walter was assigned to the Virginia State Police BCI Richmond Field Office’s Drug Enforcement Section and routinely partnered with the Richmond Police Department on investigative and patrol operatives.
Immediately following the shooting, a perimeter was established within the neighborhood for the safety of residents, preservation of the crime scene and to search for Ball. For the next 11 hours, law enforcement personnel from the Virginia State Police, Richmond Police, Henrico County Police, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, US Marshals Service, DEA and ATF conducted a widespread search effort throughout the Metro-Richmond region. Their investigative efforts and tips from the public ultimately led to Ball’s apprehension in the Northern Neck early Saturday morning.
Virginia State Police issued this statement Saturday afternoon:
"The Virginia State Police is mourning the loss of its 63rd member to die in the line of duty since 1932. Special Agent Michael T. Walter, 45, succumbed to his injuries shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday (May 27, 2017) at VCU Medical Center in Richmond. Special Agent Walter, a Powhatan County resident, is survived by his wife, Jaime, and two sons and a daughter, ages 14, 9 and 6, respectively.
Special Agent Walter, 45, was born in Philadelphia, Penn., and graduated Schalick High School in Elmer, N.J. He was a decorated veteran during his service with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) from 1989 to 1994. Prior to joining the Virginia State Police in 1988, he also worked as a security officer at MCV Hospital and then served two years as an officer with the Virginia Division of Capitol Police.
He entered the Virginia State Police Academy in 1998 and graduated as a member of the 98th Basic Session in May 21, 1999. His first patrol assignment upon graduation was in the Virginia State Police Fairfax Division’s Area 48 Office in Springfield. As a Trooper, he then transferred to the Richmond Division’s Area 6 Office in Powhatan in 2005. A year later he joined the State Police Academy staff as an instructor with the Department’s Canine Unit. In 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Special Agent and has been assigned ever since to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office Drug Enforcement Section.
“Mike is well-known not only for his passion for criminal justice, but also for his commitment and passion to bettering the lives of local youth,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, at a Saturday morning press conference in Mosby Court. “Mike founded and ran a non-profit organization, the Powhatan Youth Wrestling and Community Development Corporation, through the Black Hawk gym. For him and Jamie, this wasn’t about making a profit. It was about making a difference for disadvantaged youth by mentoring them and fostering their talents through physical fitness and sportsmanship.”