- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2005

RICHMOND — A man suspected in a shooting spree that left three persons dead and witnesses horrified was captured without incident last night, police said.

Daniel Andrew Bowler was taken into custody at a hotel in eastern Henrico County, Capt. Mark Segal of the Richmond Police Department said.

“At this stage of my career, nothing surprises me,” Capt. Segal said at a press conference late last night. “The brutalness of this particular case angers me greatly.”

Mr. Bowler, 26, was the subject of a manhunt among local, state and federal officers for more than 24 hours after the killings. Two of the men killed were shopkeepers shot in the head by a man yelling racist comments as horrified customers looked on.

The other victim was killed in a public housing complex in South Richmond.

Mr. Bowler was arrested at 8:30 p.m. at a Super 8 near Richmond International Airport, where he had signed in under his name Wednesday night. Police recovered a weapon and additional ammunition in Mr. Bowler’s room, Capt. Segal said.

“It was called into [his room] to come out, that we were there, and he offered no resistance and came out of the hotel,” Capt. Segal said.

Richmond and Henrico police, their SWAT teams and the U.S. Marshals Service participated in the arrest.

Mr. Bowler was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Capt. Segal said the commonwealth’s attorney intends to pursue three capital-murder indictments Monday.

“I cannot overemphasize the importance the community played in the successful conclusion of this case,” Capt. Segal said, adding that several people had tipped off police to Mr. Bowler’s whereabouts.

About 6:50 p.m. Wednesday, police said they received a call that a gunman had shot someone at the public housing complex. Authorities found Derrick Conner, 29, dead on the street.

Ten minutes later, the gunman entered the James Food Store, a convenience store in the strip mall about three miles away.

After shouting racist comments at employee Abdulrahman Aldhabhani, 43, he fatally shot him in front of customers, said police.

Police said the gunman walked next door to Poly Cleaners, where he yelled racist comments at owner Jong Doh, 39, before shooting him in front of witnesses.

Mr. Bowler was identified from surveillance photographs at the convenience store, police said.

At a press conference yesterday , Police Chief Rodney D. Monroe said cash was taken from people at the convenience store and the public housing complex. But he added that money appeared to be an afterthought in the crimes.

Police initially said they were investigating the last two slayings as hate crimes. But Chief Monroe said police think that Mr. Bowler knew the victims and that the killings were some form of retaliation.

Mr. Bowler’s adult criminal records show a felony hit-and-run charge and several misdemeanors. Police said he had served time as a juvenile for robbing Mr. Doh’s business and for a malicious-wounding charge.

As rain poured down on the gritty strip mall yesterday morning, mourners tucked bouquets of white roses, yellow and orange daisies and pink carnations behind the locked door handles of Mr. Doh’s shop.

One of Mr. Doh’s loyal customers, Greg Owhin, 49, of Charles City, said he dropped off a suit with Mr. Doh’s wife just hours before the killing.

“You don’t walk in here yesterday and come back and they’re gone,” he said as he stood in the rain, staring at the shop. “It’s senseless.”

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