Newport News Police mourn officer’s death, provide more details of deadly incident

Jury convicts final defendant in Virginia Beach grocery store armed robbery spree

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Virginia Beach man Friday for his role in a spree of grocery store robberies that ended in a Harris Teeter store manager being shot.

Darrius Heuser-Whitaker

Darrius A. Heuser-Whitaker, 19, was charged with armed robbery and conspiracy. Court records show that Heuser-Whitaker was one of two masked gunmen who robbed a Virginia Beach Food Lion and attempted to rob a Harris Teeter, also in Virginia Beach.

During the robberies, Heuser-Whitaker pushed a semi-automatic handgun equipped with a laser sight into the backs of the store managers while demanding money from the safe.

Investigators say a team of at least six was involved in each robbery, including inside and outside “look-outs,” a getaway driver and two armed robbers. Look-outs inside the store would identify the grocery store manager and then tell the masked robbers, who were armed with guns.

Look-outs on the outside of the stores listened to police scanner applications and communicated with the others through encrypted communications and ear-pieces as the robberies were happening.

Nine co-conspirators were named. All nine pleaded guilty to various robbery and gun charges.

Heuser-Whitaker faces a minimum sentence of 17 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.