Chesapeake police officer and son killed in triple shooting

The Toothman family

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake police detective and his son were killed in a shooting Sunday. Police believe the family’s oldest son is the suspect. He’s also accused of shooting his mother; she was released from the hospital late Sunday night.

Court records shows Zachary Toothman, 20, is facing six felony charges including attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree murder and three counts use of a fire in commission of a felony in connection with the triple shooting.

READ: Toothman Search Warrant

“Honestly can’t believe that he would do something like this,” family friend Kenneth Holloway said. “I can’t believe they’re gone.”

Zachary Toothman. Credit Chesapeake Police Department.
Zachary Toothman. Credit Chesapeake Police Department.

Chesapeake police spokesman Leo Kosinski says officers responded to a home on Helen Avenue just after noon for reports of an injured person. When officers arrived, they discovered three people had been shot. Two people were dead on the scene and one was injured. The injured person was transported to Norfolk General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Kosinski says a suspect, now identified by court records as Zachary Toothman, was still on scene. Police took him into custody without incident.

A search in property records have found that the home where the victims were found belongs to Chesapeake Detective Michael Toothman.

According to the warrants, Zachary Toothman is charged with the first-degree murder of Michael and Matthew Toothman, and the attempted murder of Susan Toothman. He was arraigned Monday morning in Chesapeake Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Monday afternoon, Chesapeake Police released this statement about Mike Toothman’s passing:

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the passing of one of our own. Yesterday afternoon Detective Mike Toothman (Master Police Officer) passed away at his residence. He served his community as a police officer with distinction and honor for over 30 years. While serving on the Chesapeake Police Department he held several positions and duty assignments to include Detective, Patrolman, Honor Guard, Youth Service Officer and the S.W.A.T. Team. The passing of Detective Mike Toothman and his son is a tragic loss to his family, community and the department; his presence will truly be missed.

Neighbor Kenneth Holloway was shocked to hear about the shooting. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “That’s pretty much everybody. Everybody who knows them. Everybody who lives around here. We can’t understand why.”

One witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said they saw medics working on an adult female on the front lawn.

WAVY News has learned Zachary Toothman was a freshman at Virginia Tech and was in the Navy ROTC program. University officials say Toothman is of sophomore standing but is not currently enrolled. His major was computational modeling and data analytics. He was on an academic leave of absence, waiting to be processed out of the NROTC, according to LT Sean Brophy with Naval Service Training Command.

The NROTC program requires a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Stay with WAVY.com for developments on this story.

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