Pharmacy shooting suspect connected to 2nd attempted robbery

Dontario Johnson (Photo courtesy: Chesapeake police)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Police say the suspect of a Monday shooting and attempted robbery at a Virginia Beach pharmacy is accused of a second attempted robbery on the same day at a Chesapeake hotel.

On Monday, June 6, a grand jury indicted 23-year-old Dontario Andre Johnson, of Norfolk, on charges including malicious wounding, attempted robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (non-violent) within 10 years and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Virginia Beach police say Johnson was armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun when he entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy located at 840 South Military Highway, around 2:25 p.m. Monday. According to police, Johnson demanded drugs, and at some point, fired at a pharmacy technician, before fleeing the scene.

The technician received injuries that were not life-threatening and was transported to a local hospital for treatment, police said.

The Rite Aid Pharmacy was closed for hours while police investigated. It later reopened around 9 p.m. Customers in the area were shocked to hear the news.

“That’s unbelievable,” said Tammi Houston, a Rite Aid customer. “I mean, I personally know a lot of these pharmacists because they’re my neighborhood pharmacy that I use quite frequently. That just really hits home.”

Virginia Beach police warrant and fugitive detectives, with the assistance of several local jurisdictions, located Johnson in the 500 block of North Military Highway in Norfolk, where he was arrested without incident.

Chesapeake police later confirmed Johnson attempted to rob the Hilton Garden Inn located in the 1500 block of Crossways Boulevard just before the attempted robbery at the Rite Aid. Witnesses told police he demanded money from an employee working the front desk. Johnson allegedly fired a shot as the employee turned around, but the employee was not hit.

Johnson is being held without bond at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. He goes to trial on June 14.

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