Portsmouth firefighter charged with attempted capital murder after stand-off with police

Posted at 9:50 PM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 18:35:06-04

Zachariah R. Burd

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth Police have identified the 33-year-old man involved in a barricade and active shooter situation that occurred Monday night.

Court records indicate he has been a Portsmouth Firefighter for the past 6 years.

Portsmouth Police said dispatchers received the call at 7:45 p.m about a man who was possibly armed and wanting to harm himself in the 100 block of Gillis Road.

Officers arrived at the scene and attempted to make contact with the man. He refused to speak with officers and barricaded himself inside the home.

Later on, the irate man exited the house and fired several shots in the direction of officers before going back inside the house.

Records indicate that at 9:19 pm two officers heard a gun shot coming from the home.  One female officer sought cover behind a nearby house, then heard an additional gunshot which she heard ricochet above her head, on the siding of the house, it states.

Tuesday police were out at the house again with a K-9 dog looking for evidence.

Police say no officers were harmed and there was no return fire.

The Portsmouth Police SWAT Unit and police negotiators responded to the scene in an attempt to communicate with the man.

Around 12:15 a.m., the man was taken into custody without incident. He was identified as 33-year-old Zachariah R. Burd.

He has been charged with Attempted Capital Murder, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, and Reckless Handling of a Firearm.

On September 29, the first two charges against Burd were dropped; he was found guilty of the latter charge and sentenced to 12 months in prison with 12 months suspended. He was also sentenced to 12 months probation.

Records indicate police executed a search warrant at the home and seized a 9 mm handgun, ammunition, a bullet, and 4 shell casings along with a cell phone.  It states police spotted a handgun in plain view in the living room after Burd surrendered.

Officials say it's unclear what motivated this situation but took steps to notify nearby citizens in the area about the situation. As a result, only a few neighboring homes were evacuated as a precaution.

A spokesperson of Portsmouth Police Department says the goal is to get everyone to comply safety and end the situation peacefully.

Burd remains in the Portsmouth City Jail.

Stay with News 3 for updates.