Friday, February 3, 2023

He abducted a customer during a robbery and shot at a cop. He was shot. Now he’s prison bound

Luis Fernando Vazquez (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office)
Luis Fernando Vazquez (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A 21-year-old local man will serve a lot of time in prison for a plethora of crimes, including attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer in 2015.

According to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Luis Fernando Vazquez was sentenced Monday to 133 years and 6 months in prison, “all suspended except 40 years to serve,” for (in addition to the attempted capital murder) two counts of robbery, abduction, two counts of conspiracy, four counts of use of a firearm, possession of a firearm by felon, and assault and battery of a law enforcement officer.

He pleaded guilty to the charges on June 26, 2017.

At about 7:25 p.m. on May 15, 2015, Vazquez and his co-defendant, Terrion Jones, approached two women who were walking to their car in a shopping center on Wesleyan Drive.

Armed with handguns, they robbed the women of their phones and a wallet, then fled behind the shopping center.  The victims went inside a store and called police.

Prosecutors said police used the “Find my iPhone” app to find an iPhone belonging to one of the victims.  It showed that the phone was at a nearby Boost Mobile store.

An officer responded to Boost Mobile. The store was closed with a few people inside, including Vazquez and Jones.  As he attempted to enter the store, Vazquez pulled out a gun and held it to a customer’s head.

Vazquez dragged the customer outside where more officers arrived to assist.

Prosecutors said he ignored police commands to drop the gun and threatened to shoot the customer.  Officers drew their weapons, and Vazquez used the customer as a human shield while he attempted to get away.

Vasquez ran after letting the customer go. He turned and fored at the officer chasing him.

The chase continued a short distance until Vazquez again reached in his shirt. The officer fired at Vazquez, striking him. Vazquez surrendered.

Vazquez was treated at the hospital and then booked into the jail..

Prosecutors said a Virginia Beach Sheriff’s deputy heard Vazquez tell a nurse, “I was not expecting to live through it.  It was either going to be them or me.”

He also told another inmate that he shot at a cop and “tried to take his head off.”

He also said he was running to his mother’s house “where he could continue to shoot because she had assault rifles,” prosecutors said.

While in jail on Jan. 22, 2017, Vazquez threw urine on a deputy and another inmate.

Jones pleaded guilty to two counts each of robbery, use of a firearm, and conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 22.

He was a juvenile at the time of the incident, but his case was certified to the Circuit Court for trial as an adult because of the seriousness of the charges.

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