Friday, March 12, 2010

LDS Missionaries Steven Shelley And Richard Phillips Robbed At Knifepoint In Virginia Beach; Jason Chapman II Sought By Police

Police are looking for a man who robbed two missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at knifepoint in Virginia Beach on February 25th, 2010. Primary media story from WVEC Channel 13.

While proselytizing on Susquehanna Drive, Elders Steven Shelley and Richard Phillips encountered Jason Chapman II, who talked with them for a few minutes. Chapman left, then returned with a knife, and relieved the missionaries of their possessions, which included their backpacks stuffed with Bibles, notebooks, and pamphlets. The missionaries were unhurt. WVEC news video embedded below:

A local stake president, Robert Lambourne, recalls getting the call about the shootings. "It's just unbelievable that it would happen here," Lambourne says. "I have a son-in-law who went to Ghana and served in the primitive areas on his mission, and nothing like that happened to him, so why should it happen here?" This is not the first time LDS missionaries have been crime victims in the area; in January 2006, Elders Joshua Heidbrink and Morgan Young were shot in Chesapeake. Young died as a result, and on December 12th, 2008, a jury convicted James Boughton, Jr. of first-degree murder, malicious wounding, attempted malicious wounding and three counts of use of a firearm. He was sentenced to 38 years and six months in prison.

Chapman lived in the same block of Susquehanna where the robbery took place. He has not been seen in the area since the robbery; police have already searched his residence. Elders Shelley and Phillips have resumed their missionary duties.

No comments: