Jan. 26, 2023
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA – Police have arrested two suspects in relation to a fatal shooting that occurred in the 14000 block of North Carriage Lane at about 3:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022.
On Oct. 31, 2022, police responded to a reported shooting; upon arrival, officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. Life-saving measures were attempted by responding officers, but the man, identified as Robert C. Ashburn, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation indicates Ashburn, of the 14000 block of North Carriage Lane, left his residence to head to work shortly before 3:30 a.m. Once outside, he saw an unknown suspect going through his girlfriend's unlocked vehicle. Ashburn confronted the suspect and was shot. The suspect fled the area on foot.
In early November 2022, police released surveillance video related to the shooting in an effort to identify the suspect. A surveillance camera in the area captured video of the suspect rummaging through the vehicle. On the video, the suspect and Ashburn could be heard speaking before the shooting.
Through an extensive investigation, detectives identified a suspect: Asuntae M. Barksdale, 25, of the 1200 block of Garber Street. On Nov. 18, 2022, he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in relation to the Oct. 31, 2022, fatal shooting.
Detectives soon learned that Barksdale had been in a vehicle that was stopped by Chesterfield police on the night of the homicide after the incident occurred. Detectives reviewed body-worn camera video of the traffic stop and learned that a total of three people – including Barksdale – had been in the vehicle that night. Detectives began working to identify the other two occupants of the vehicle.
A second person in the vehicle, Avontae M. Smith, then 21, of the 200 block of West Coutts Street, was identified and arrested on Nov. 29, 2022. Smith was charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in relation to the Oct. 31, 2022, fatal shooting.
Detectives continued working to identify the third person in the vehicle and determine whether he was involved in the homicide. Ultimately, the third person was identified and, following consultation with the Chesterfield County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, was not charged in relation to this incident.
Police continue to investigate and ask that anyone with information contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or through the P3 app.
Photos: Booking photos of Asuntae M. Barksdale and Avontae M. Smith are at right and below, respectively.