Newport News, VA - Laratio Dantzler murdered two men in broad daylight in January 2016, and he found out the hard way that you never know who might be watching. A private investigator was in the area at the time of the murder and captured the whole thing on video (below.)
The murders occurred on January 14, 2016, on Wickham Avenue near 14th Street. Dantzler and another man, Stephen Hayes, were in a minivan with three other men, when Dantzler and Hayes pulled out their guns to rob the other men in the van.
Harriott decided to crash the van into a parked vehicle truck, jump out of the vehicle, and run. It was at the sound of the vehicle crash that alerted private investigator Jason Gilliam, who was nearby with a high-tech video camera. He then recorded every second of what happened next.
Jason Gilliam just happened to be on an unrelated workers compensation investigation, looking for evidence that a shipyard worker was faking a disability claim. The footage from his camera captured a robbery in progress, showing two men holding another man at gunpoint outside of the crashed van, while another man remained inside the van.
It then showed one of the robbers fleeing, who was later identified as Hayes, and the second robber, later identified as Dantzler, firing into the van at the two victims a total of 13 times.
While Jason Gilliam was recording the incident on video, a nearby resident was watching the event and called 911. She gave the dispatcher a play-by-play of the incident. When she heard gunshots, she became obviously emotional on the 911 tape, and cold be heard telling the dispatcher that "he shot everybody in the car."
The eyewitness' 911 recording and the private investigator's video made for damning evidence in court. But there was also body cam footage from two Newport News Police Officers. Sergeant Brendan Bartley first confronted Dantzler after responding to the 911 call. Dantzler refused commands to drop his weapon, and Sergeant Bartley shot him twice.
Officer Jamie Acree then encountered Dantzler and the video shows a tense standoff, with Officer Acree commanding Dantzler to drop the gun repeatedly before she shot him once.
Dantzler's DNA was recovered from from a gun found at the scene and it was linked to the murders of both Gray and Kelly. Danztler was hospitalized for four days before being transferred to jail. His trial took just three days and the jury took just over an hour before finding him guilty of two counts of First-Degree Murder.
He was sentenced to two life terms plus 65 years on 12 related charges.
Good work all the way around. Justice was served, with the help of fate and a lot of karma.
You can see the incident play out in the recording below. WARNING: May be disturbing to some viewers.