HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Police have identified three suspects accused in a robbery and officer-involved shooting Monday in Hampton.
Leonard Allen Morrison III, a 29-year-old Washington D.C. man, has warrants on file for two counts of attempted capital murder of a police officer, disarming a law enforcement officer of a firearm, three counts of robbery, two counts of conspiracy to commit a robbery, nine counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, four counts of abduction and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Police say Morrison was also wanted out of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, for a failure to appear charge related to a burglary.
Twenty-seven-year-old Allen Jamal Ralph, of Newport News, and 20-year-old James Cole Gregory, of Portsmouth, have both been charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of conspiracy to commit a robbery, seven counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony and four counts of abduction. Gregory faces an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Sgt. Matt Bond with Hampton police said officers were called to the GameStop at Hampton Towne Centre around 2:30 p.m. Monday for an armed robbery in progress. Officers flooded the area and responding officers identified and located the robbery suspects.
The officers ran after the suspects. The chase led police to the back of the shopping center and then to the front parking lot of the AMC 24 movie theater.
As an officer tried to take Morrison into custody, an altercation took place, during which the officer was injured. Morrison then gained control of the officer’s weapon, police said in a news release issued Tuesday.
Police said another officer saw Morrison was armed with the officer’s weapon and in fear for his life and others around him, the officer exchanged gunfire with Morrison. Morrison was shot multiple times. The unarmed officer was also hit by gunfire; he was wearing a ballistic vest.
“The bulletproof vest did its job and luckily, he was wearing it,” Bond said. “You see this all the time on TV and national news and then to hear it actually come over the radio as you’re sitting in the office, to hear the cries for help, and just the tone in the officer’s voice and he needed assistance is very stressful and taxing and it really hits home.”
Police said Tuesday that it appears the unarmed officer was shot by Morrison, but this will have to be confirmed by ballistic testing.
After the shooting, officers on scene tended to the injured officer and Morrison until medics got to the scene. Both the officer and Morrison were taken to the hospital. The officer is now recovering at home. Morrison remains hospitalized and is in serious but stable condition.
Once Morrison is medically released, he will be arraigned on the charges he faces in court. Ralph and Gregory were arraigned in General District Court on Tuesday. The Commonwealth’s Attorney wants to merge their cases and try them together with a jury.
The Hampton Police Division is working with both Chesapeake and Virginia Beach police. Investigators believe one or more of the three suspects may have been involved in additional crimes that took place in those cities, including a similar business robbery that happened in Chesapeake before the incidents in Hampton unfolded.
Police say all of the officers involved in Monday’s series of events were wearing body-worn cameras that were recording. Footage from the cameras has been handed over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office for review.
“The Commonwealth is first of all, extremely proud of Hampton Police Department and how those officers in a crisis state were able to professionally handle themselves as well as competently be able to address those issues in a time to time basis,” said Anton Bell, Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney.
The video cannot be released at this time because of the ongoing investigation and future prosecution.
Authorities say a criminal and internal investigation into Monday’s officer-involved shooting are underway. Both officers involved in the incident have been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation, which is often the procedure during an investigation.
Police have not said if there were any customers in the GameStop or if anything was actually stolen during the robbery.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.