Man killed in suspected burglary attempt

Published 8:46 am Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SUFFOLK, VA – A suspected burglary on Sunday morning turned deadly when the owner of a Suffolk, Va. business caught someone inside his Whaleyville Boulevard convenience store and shot him.

Police responded to the J&L Market in the 6500 block of Whaleyville Blvd. at about 4 a.m. Sunday, when a member of the owner’s family called and said a burglary alarm inside the building had been tripped, according to Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George.

While a dispatcher was speaking to the caller, George said, the caller reported that shots had been fired.

When police arrived on the scene, they found the owner standing in the store’s parking lot with a .45-caliber handgun and the burglary suspect dead on the floor inside the building.

Several shots had been fired through a window into the business.

George said that police believe the suspect had gained entry into the building through a rear window. The owner, who lives within sight of the business, had an audible alarm installed in the building that also alerted him at home when it was tripped, she said. The alarm was not set up to alert the police department.

The owner, whom police have not charged or identified, was taken to the police department for an interview. After securing a search warrant for the crime scene, police began their investigation inside the building, she said.

Police identified the man who was shot as Ernest S. Roop, 38, of Weatherby Way in Suffolk.