CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – News of an apparent murder-suicide that left six family members dead spread quickly through the law enforcement community Thursday.
One of the victims, 50-year-old Steven Todd Dooley, was a retired Chesapeake Police Officer. Chesapeake City Councilman Robert Ike, who retired from the same police department, said he did not work with Dooley, but knew him from social events.
“This comes as a shock to everybody…I don’t think anybody saw this coming,” he said.
Ike said Dooley retired just two months ago.
“I hate to think that he spent 25 years on the street, on alert, constantly on guard, and then to lose his life in this fashion, is just, is just tragic,” Ike said. “I knew him socially through the Fraternal Order of Police and other police events. He was a great officer, well-respected among his peers, known as a rock solid back-up when you needed one.”
He called Dooley a dedicated family man, who loved his wife and kids.
On social media, friends and colleagues have shared photos of the Chesapeake police badge, shrouded in black.
“As a former police officer, I can only imagine what the community, the police community in Chesapeake, is going through right now. The sadness, the loss, the brutal reality of this, is so sad,” Ike said.
Dooley was also an active member of Law Enforcement United, a charity which helps children of police killed in the line of duty. They have an annual bicycle ride from Chesapeake to DC. On Thursday, the Virginia chapter’s chaplain shared a statement on social media, saying in part, “The one thing about Todd, is he always had a smile, and one we looked forward to seeing at the end of our daily ride.” Reached by phone, the chapter president John Mapes said Dooley had been a member since 2009 and helped with organizing hotels and driving trucks and trailers for the organization. “He worked tirelessly with anything that we needed,” Mapes said.