George Buschmann, 34-years-old, has been identified as the man charged with the murder of Robert Gooch IV, a 34-year-old United States Army officer who was shot and killed at a WaWa in Chesterfield County, Virginia, on Tuesday, November 8.
According to reports, as Gooch — who was with his 13-year-old daughter — was buying popcorn at a WaWa, Buschmann — who did not know or interact with Gooch before, fired several shots at him.
While Gooch was rushed to a local hospital, he was later pronounced dead. Buschmann fled the scene of the shooting, but he was later captured by police around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, January 9.
Gooch was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, felony eluding, possession of a firearm after being involuntarily committed, and transporting a firearm while being subject to a protective order. He was taken to the Chesterfield County Jail.
The shooting unfolded shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday outside the Wawa in the 16000 block of Otterdale Station Way, a short distance from Robert Gooch IV’s home in the 7700 block of Hampton Green Drive in the Hampton Park neighborhood. On Wednesday, plywood could be seen near the entrance of the Wawa covering up three spaces that once held windows that were damaged during the incident.
Thornton said the suspect, 34-year-old George Thomas Buschmann, left the Wawa after the shooting in a vehicle that was spotted by authorities early Wednesday morning.
Shortly after 1 a.m., Powhatan County sheriff’s deputy Phillip Barden tried to stop a silver 2007 Toyota for speeding on U.S. 60 in Powhatan, said Anne Reynolds, crime analyst for the Powhatan Sheriff’s Office.
The Toyota did not stop and led authorities on a chase east on U.S. 60 into Chesterfield, then into Richmond and Henrico County, where police deployed spike strips, Reynolds said. The vehicle stopped and Buschmann was taken into custody.
Who Was Robert Gooch IV?
Gooch, who joined the Navy after high school but was placed into the Army after graduating college, served multiple tours in Afghanistan and served in the US Army Reserve.
The victim’s father said that once Buschmann began shooting, Gooch pushed his 13-year-old daughter out of the way and told her to “get down” and to call her grandfather.
“He’s an Army officer and he understands how to give orders and get things done,” Gooch’s father said in an interview with Richmond Times-Dispatch. “He’s not somebody who would ever panic. He was calm and in charge.”