Suspect in fatal Salem shooting appears in court

Zane Christian is accused of killing Rico Turner on November 9

SALEM, Va – A man accused of murdering a Bedford man in a Salem parking lot earlier this month had his first appearance before a judge Monday.

Zane Christian appeared in Salem General District Court by video call where a judge formally read his charges. Christian is suspected of shooting and killing Rico Turner in the Lakeside Plaza shopping center on November 9.

Police said Zane Chandler Christian, of Christiansburg, shot 27-year-old Rico Turner, of Bedford, at the Lakeside Plaza shopping center parking lot. (Photo courtesy of Ramir Hunt)

The motive is unclear. Turner’s fiancee, as well as three children, were all present when the shooting took place. Christian is also charged with three counts of child neglect.

Search warrants also detail that Turner was alive when police arrived on scene. Both he and his fiancee identified Christian to police by name, social security number and date of birth.

Christian is also accused of carjacking someone near Virginia Tech’s campus later that day after the shooting.

In Salem, Christian is charged with felony murder, malicious wounding, reckless handling of a firearm and three counts of child neglect. Christian received a court appointed attorney.

His next appearance in Salem is set for January 15. He is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County Tuesday related to the carjacking charge.

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