Man killed in suspected burglary attempt

Published 10:14 pm Monday, June 22, 2009

Police continued their investigation on Monday into a deadly shooting that took place early Sunday morning.

A suspected burglary at about 4 a.m. turned deadly, when the owner of a Suffolk business caught someone inside his Whaleyville Boulevard convenience store and shot him.

Police responded to the JNL Market in the 6500 block of Whaleyville Blvd. 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.


Email newsletter signup

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. A tire iron that was found inside the building, but not with the body.

No weapons were found with the body, George said.

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

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. George said there was no indication that there had been any recent changes to the alarm system.

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.

On Monday, George said that the investigation into the incident continues.

At the conclusion of the investigation, she said, a package will be put together and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office will review it to determine whether any charges will be pressed against the owner of the store.