RICHMOND, Va. – A man was arrested Thursday night in connection with a shooting spree that left three dead — including two shopkeepers who were gunned down in front of horrified customers by a gunman who yelled racist comments, police said.
Daniel A. Bowler (search) was taken into custody without incident at a hotel in eastern Henrico County, police Capt. Mark Segal said. He did not immediately release further details.
Police said Bowler has a criminal record, but they would not elaborate.
Bowler, 26, was the subject of a manhunt by local, state and federal officers for more than 24 hours after the killings. He was identified from surveillance photographs from a convenience store where one of the victims was shot, police said.
Police initially said they were investigating the Wednesday night slayings at the businesses as possible hate crimes. But Police Chief Rodney Monroe (search) said Thursday police believe Bowler knew the victims and that the killings were some form of retaliation.
Cash was taken from individuals at the convenience store and a public housing complex where one of the victims was shot, but money appeared to be an afterthought in the crimes, Monroe said.
About 6:50 p.m. Wednesday, police said, they received a call that a gunman had shot someone at the housing complex. Authorities found Derrick Conner (search), 29, lying dead on the street.
Ten minutes later, the gunman entered the James Food Store, a convenience store about three miles from the housing complex. After shouting racist comments at employee Abdulrahman Aldhabhani, 43, the man shot and killed him in front of customers, police said.
Police said the gunman took cash and other items before walking next door to Poly Cleaners, where he yelled racist comments at the owner, Jong Doh, 39, before shooting him in front of witnesses.
Thursday morning, Doh's laundry was closed. Someone had placed a bouquet of daisies and pink carnations behind the door handle.
Diane Roane, a friend of the Doh family, said she was driving past the strip mall Wednesday night when she saw police cars. She called her son to find out what had happened.
"I kept saying, 'Not the man at the cleaners. ... Just tell me it wasn't him,"' Roane said.