Robbery, pursuit suspect charged with murder

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Police have identified the man accused of killing a local pharmacist during an armed robbery before robbing another pharmacy and leading police on a pursuit Monday morning.

MPO Tonya Borman with the Virginia Beach Police Department said the suspect has been identified as 55-year-old Walter Lane Hubbard of Virginia Beach. He is charged with first degree murder, attempted robbery, robbery and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Photo by WAVY/Joel Hilton
Photo by WAVY/Joel Hilton

Around 10:49 a.m., police received a 911 call from Beach Pharmacy located at 501 Laskin Road for a report of an attempted robbery and gunshot. Witnesses gave reports of a white, middle-aged man with dark hair entering the pharmacy and shooting an employee while demanding items.

Police have confirmed that employee was Pharmacist David Kilgore, 46, of Virginia Beach, who was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

Outside the pharmacy, Janet Chenman said she watched paramedics perform chest compressions on the pharmacist.

“He’s the sweetest guy, and I saw his family come up very upset,” she said. “They wouldn’t let them in, and after about 15 minutes, they took him out to the hospital, and his family left.”

Photos: Robbery suspect leads VBPD on pursuit

Officers believe Hubbard then fled the scene and committed a second robbery around 10:54 a.m. at Barr’s Pharmacy at 17th Street and Atlantic Avenue.

A witness inside Barr’s Pharmacy told WAVY News’ Chris Horne the suspect displayed a firearm and demanded Oxycontin. He threatened two employees with the gun, pressing it into the stomach of another pharmacist. After taking three bottles of the drug from a drawer, he forced the pharmacist out the back door. 

Walter Hubbard, photo courtesy Virginia Beach Police.
Walter Hubbard, photo courtesy Virginia Beach Police.

The entire incident lasted just a few minutes, but long enough for the pharmacist to see the suspect’s Honda CRV and tag number — information that helped police track him down.

Around 11:08 a.m., after information about the two robberies had been broadcast to police, officers in the 900 block of Virginia Beach Boulevard located a vehicle and subject matching the suspect’s description. Borman said officers tried to stop the vehicle, but a pursuit began, leading officers along Interstate 264 West from Birdneck Road to North Lynnhaven Road.

Police say as he exited the interstate, the suspect began firing a handgun at police. He turned left on Virginia Beach Boulevard and opened fire again at the intersection with Little Neck Road.

Video: Witnesses describe police pursuit

“He was driving past me, he turned and look out his driver’s window over his let shoulder, and that’s when I heard two shots,” Witness Doug Romano told WAVY.com

The pursuit continued down Virginia Beach Boulevard to Independence Boulevard, and that’s where Ashley Lynch saw the chase.

“We saw car, after car, after car coming down. There were sirens, and police put out spikes. The police then grabbed up the spike strips real quick,” Lynch added.

Aftermath of pursuit, photo by WAVY/Walter Hildebrand.
Aftermath of pursuit, photo by WAVY/Walter Hildebrand.

That’s where police say officers were able to successfully deploy spike strips on the suspect vehicle after an initial unsuccessful attempt. Joseph Chatfield was washing a car at the intersection when it all happened.

“I walked to see what he was doing. I heard a popping sound … that popping sound was his tires blowing from the police putting down spike strips,” Chatfield said.

The pursuit continued on Virginia Beach Boulevard, passing Witchduck Road, until the suspect made a U-turn, Borman said. Once traveling east, the suspect vehicle struck another vehicle at the intersection, driven by Arthur Lassiter.

“I saw a bunch of police cars chasing down the SUV,” Lassiter said. “They were going towards Newtown Road, and then the next thing I remember, something hit me.”

VIDEO: Witnesses tell WAVY.com about police pursuit

Police say the suspect vehicle hit a pickup truck and came to a stop before officers used a taser to take him into custody. Witness accounts confirm the narrative.

“He hit me, and then police all came over yelling at him to get out of the vehicle,” said Larry Cutright, who was driving the pickup truck. “They grabbed him and slammed him on the fender of my truck, put him down and cuffed him.”

“All I could think of was that the guns were going to go off,” said Jane Cutright, who was also in the truck. “The police flipped him over on top of our car. All I could say, ‘are they are going to shoot?’ I thought [the suspect] was going to shoot because the gun was right there.”

But the suspect did not shoot.

“The suspect took a couple of steps, and they come at him with their guns drawn,” Chatfield said. “One cop hit him with a taser. The guy yelled … and they all jumped on him, threw him up against the red truck, handcuffed him and took him away.”

That area was closed for hours as crews continued their investigation.

Borman said the suspect was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Hubbard is currently being held in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.

Stay with WAVY.com for more on this developing story.

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