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Petersburg man indicted on murder, firearm charges in shooting at Chesterfield Towne Center

Petersburg man indicted on murder, firearm charges in shooting at Chesterfield Towne Center

William Ezell Taylor Jr.


A Petersburg man has been indicted on new charges of murder and felony use of a firearm in a June 23 shooting at Chesterfield Towne Center that fatally wounded a young Chesterfield County man following a fight.

A local multijurisdictional grand jury on Wednesday indicted William Ezell Taylor Jr., 23, of the 800 block of Hinton Street, on the two charges, which were unsealed Thursday, said Chesterfield Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Nesbitt.

Taylor originally was charged with aggravated malicious wounding and felony use of a firearm following his arrest nine hours after the shooting in the food court of the mall. Those counts were withdrawn by prosecutors Thursday in Chesterfield General District Court to make way for the new charges, Nesbitt said.

The victim, Kimani O. Donovan, 22, succumbed to his injuries from the shooting July 5 at a local hospital.

Within hours of Taylor’s arrest, police at the time said investigators weren’t sure what precipitated the fight and subsequent shooting. The two men did not know each other but both had been shopping at the mall.

Police did not find any evidence of drugs at the mall or with Taylor when he was taken into custody, so the shooting does not appear to be drug-related, authorities said.

Taylor was identified as a suspect after police collected information from witnesses on the scene and looked at video surveillance footage from the mall, police said.

Dozens of police vehicles and several fire and emergency medical crews quickly descended on the mall after the shooting. Virginia State Police also responded.

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