An update to yesterday’s home invasion story – now a homicide

Update – 6 January 2012: The suspect has been arrested.

New information has been published about Monday’s home invasion beating in Roanoke, that I posted about yesterday. There are two key facts I want to cover before anything else.

First, this is now a murder. The male victim has died from his injuries.

Secondly, I need to make a correction. The original story made it appear as if the female victim owned the home where this occurred, and that the male victim did not live there. The new story states that they were actually married, and rented and lived in the home together.

The police have now named a suspect.

On Wednesday, officers were looking for Christopher Lee Saunders, of Roanoke, who was wanted on charges of breaking and entering, malicious wounding and assault and battery, said Roanoke police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson.

They are still saying this was not a random attack, but are not releasing anything about any suspected motive or any relationship between the victim and attacker.

Expanding a bit on my previous post, it is worth noting that the suspected attacker is 24 years old, and the victim was 56 years old and a dialysis patient. The family says he had recently been in the hospital for several months, and was bedridden. How can a 56 year old man on dialysis and who was bedridden be expected to defend himself against a (presumably) healthy man half his age without some type of force-multiplier – such as a firearm? Yet the victim in this case was permanently barred from firearm ownership because of a single incident 20 years ago, despite the fact that he was trusted with such other dangerous items like gasoline, fertilizer, matches, or any of dozens of household chemicals. Even worse, because of his history, his wife was effectively prohibited from possessing a firearm in the home as well, without taking elaborate and probably prohibitively expensive precautions to prevent any possibility of her husband having “access” to it. Her age is not given, but it’s likely it would be difficult for her to defend herself against this attacker, much less her ailing husband, using only the weapons she would be allowed to keep in their home.

I will reiterate here that, as far as I can tell, he turned his life around and had been a law-abiding and productive citizen for the last 20 years. There is simply no valid reason someone like that should have been prohibited from possessing a firearm.


[Source: The Roanoke Times, retrieved 1/5/12]

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