VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach police have charged two men with first-degree murder in the deaths of two men from earlier this month.
Police said on June 11 that two men were found dead in a home on Archives Court.
The victims were later identified as 28-year-old John Andrew Rathjen and 23-year-old Rayvone Sharome Miles, both of Virginia Beach.
According to Linda Jones, Public Relations Director of Union Mission Ministries in Norfolk, Miles previously took part in their daily development program for young men and planned to enroll at Tidewater Community College.
“Everybody’s very saddened by the loss,” Jones said.
Rathjen’s family released this statement:
Our family is devastated by the sudden, senseless loss of our son and brother, John. We are an incredibly close family of which John was a very integral part. His smile, sense of humor, and big heart will be sorely missed. Our hearts break even more for his daughters, Genesis and Madison, who were John’s world. We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have felt during this difficult and sorrowful time, but we do ask for continued privacy as we grieve and say goodbye. Lastly, we are eternally thankful for the hard work of the Virginia Beach Police Department in their continued efforts to help bring closure to this tragedy.”
Twenty-year-old James Cole Gregory, of Portsmouth, and Leonard Allen Morrison III, of District Heights, Maryland, are both facing first-degree murder, robbery and use of firearm charges.
Morrison and Gregory are facing several charges in connection to a robbery and police-involved shooting in Hampton. Allen Jamal Ralph has also been charged in that robbery. According to court documents, two of the suspects went in a GameStop at Hampton Towne Centre and told the victims to lay on the floor, then forced the clerk to open a time-delayed safe. When officers arrived, the suspects ran out the back door, tossing large amounts of cash and clothes, the paperwork said.
According to police, an officer then tried to arrest Morrison, but he took the officer’s gun and a different officer exchanged gunfire with Morrison. Police said the unarmed officer was struck once and released from the hospital. At last check, Morrison was in serious but stable condition.
Morrison has warrants on file for charges including attempted capital murder of a police officer and three counts of robbery. Hampton police said he is also wanted out of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, for a failure to appear charge.
Gregory is facing charges including robbery and four counts of abduction in the Hampton incident.
Chesapeake police said Tuesday that two suspects of a Game Stop robbery on the same day were believed to be connected to the incident in Hampton. It is unclear if either of those suspects are Gregory or Morrison. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is investigating.