Maj. Robert Gooch IV, 34, who had been assigned to Fort Belvoir, was picking up popcorn before a movie night with his teenage daughter when someone opened fire in the Wawa parking lot, his father said.
Gooch’s teenager daughter was unharmed, but the officer died of his wounds at a local hospital, according to a Tuesday release from the Chesterfield Police Department.
Later that night, authorities arrested George Thomas Buschmann after he was stopped for speeding, in a vehicle that matched the description of a silver 2007 Toyota seen driving away from the Wawa after Gooch was shot.
After a chase, authorities found a shotgun and rifle in the car, which had been reported stolen, the Times-Dispatch reported.
Authorities believe Buschmann and Gooch did not exchange words in the parking lot before the shooting. In a jailhouse interview with local news station WTVR, Buschmann said he fired the weapon out of fear for his life.
“Yeah, I feel bad for the situation, but I was trying to protect myself,” he said.
In an interview with WTVR, Buschmann’s sister said that her brother suffered from untreated schizophrenia.
Buschmann has been charged with first-degree murder, using a firearm to commit a felony, grand larceny, felony eluding, firearm possession after being involuntarily committed, and transporting a firearm while under a protective order, according to the police department release.
Court records also show he pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating a protective order.