An Army officer was killed at a convenience store in Virginia in front of his teenage daughter, in what police are calling a random act of violence.
Robert Gooch IV, 34, and his 13-year-old daughter were buying popcorn at a Wawa in Chesterfield County before watching a movie on Tuesday around 7pm.
He was suddenly shot several times by George Buschmann, 34, who didn’t know Gooch and didn’t interact with him before firing his gun, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch. No motive has yet been provided for the shooting.
The father-of-three had multiple wounds was taken via ambulance to a local hospital, where he passed away.
The victim’s father, Robert Gooch III, told the Times-Dispatch that his son was walking to his car when the gunman began firing.
He said his son ordered his granddaughter to ‘get down’ and call her grandfather.
‘He’s an Army officer and he understands how to give orders and get things done,’ the father told the newspaper.
‘He’s not somebody who would ever panic. He was calm and in charge.’
Gooch III said his son joined the Navy after graduating high school but was commissioned into the Army after graduating college.
He served multiple tours in Afghanistan and worked on the medical field in the US Army Reserve.
According to police, Buschmann fled after the shooting in a 2007 silver Toyota that officers spotted around 1am on Wednesday.
Buschmann was allegedly speeding on US 60 in Powhatan when police ordered him to stop. He kept driving, leading authorities on a chase.
Anne Reynolds, crime analyst for the Powhatan Sheriff’s Office, told the Times-Dispatch that police eventually deployed spike strips to make the car stop and arrested Buschmann.
Buschmann is currently being held at the Chesterfield County Jail and a judge had denied bail or a bond.
According to the Times-Dispatch, he’s been charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm after being involuntarily committed, transporting a firearm while being subject to a protective order, grand larceny of a motor vehicle and felony eluding.
He was arraigned on Wednesday and a preliminary hearing is expected to take place on March 26.
This is far from Buschmann’s first run-in with the law. He has violated several protective orders filed against him by former housemates and his wife, whom he’s estranged from.
He was also released from jail in Richmond just last month.
His sister, Ruth Buschmann, who lives in Charlottesville, told WWBT that her brother had mental health issues and was not taking his prescribed medication.
‘Don’t ignore it, don’t ignore it and take your medicine. He didn’t take his medicine right and I didn’t make him, and I just let him choose and I just laughed at whatever,’ she said.
Gooch’s neighbors described him as a kind man who was always willing to help others.
‘He was the first one to say ‘Hey, let me help you out. What do you need?” Faizan Habib told WTVR.
Robert was a fantastic guy. Very helpful, very loving to his kids.’
Family friends have set up a GoFundMe page to provide support to Gooch’s wife, Leslie Ortega, and their three children.
As of Friday, more than $27,000 has been raised out of an initial $20,000 goal.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Mary Kekatos