Army officer murdered in front of daughter days before retirement, shielded her from bullets

A US Army officer who survived multiple tours overseas was slain at a Virginia gas station this week, only a few days before he was slated to retire from the service.

Robert S. Gooch, IV, of Chesterfield, Virginia, was reported to have been mortally wounded by George Thomas Buschmann at a Wawa convenience store on Tuesday night.

A married father of three and prior enlisted man who eventually became an officer, Gooch was reportedly scheduled to retire from military service on Friday.

Gooch reportedly tried to get back inside of the WaWa after being shot, with his young daughter witnessing the crime and begging witnesses for help.

“All of a sudden, the little girl ran in and she was screaming and then we heard gunshots,” witness Tracea Bolin said. “When we finally got out, we saw the man and he was bleeding and we were just praying for him.”

Gooch would later die after being transported to the hospital.

During the encounter, Gooch pushed his 13-year-old daughter down to get her out of the way and told her to “get down,” the victim’s father said. “Then he told her to call me.”

“He’s an Army officer and he understands how to give orders and get things done,” the father said in a phone interview Wednesday. “He’s not somebody who would ever panic. He was calm and in charge.”

According to NBC 12, Buschmann is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, grand larceny of a motor vehicle, felony eluding, possession of a firearm after being involuntarily committed and transporting a firearm while being subject to a protective order. He is currently being held without bond in the Chesterfield County Jail and was arraigned on Wednesday.

At the time of the murder, Buschmann had an existing criminal record, which included violating a protective order and driving with a suspended license.

When police attempted to hunt down Buschmann Wednesday, he led them on a pursuit through multiple jurisdictions in a stolen car before he was brought to a stop.

“It was determined that the suspect vehicle had been reported stolen from Chesterfield County,” the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. “The pursuit continued into Chesterfield County, Richmond City and culminated in Henrico County when spike strips were deployed.”

The local news station that reported his death had previously interviewed Gooch, who owned a security company and gave an interview concerning the importance of home security.

In response to his death, Gooch’s mother left a touching tribute for him on social media.

“Last night I kissed my son, Robert Saunders Gooch IV, goodnight for the last time,” she wrote. “Walk with God, Talk with Jesus and Fly with the Angels.”

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