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Bridge toll plaza shooting suspect arrested

August 12, 2009 8:03:37 PM PDT
There are new details about Tuesday's double murder at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Richmond police are looking at the relationship between the suspect and the victims.

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They say the gunman, Nathan Burris, first shot Golden Gate Transit driver Chuck Everette as he sat in his car. Then, he killed his girlfriend, toll collector Debbie Ross, in her toll booth. Everette and Ross were both shot at close range with a shotgun.

Burris was arrested early Wednesday morning in the Sierra foothills, driving the same shuttle van police say he drove through the toll lanes Tuesday evening at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

"Once officers initiated the traffic stop, the suspect pulled to the right shoulder, he exited the vehicle with his hands up and was cooperative and was taken into custody without any resistance," California Highway Patrol spokesperson Trent Cross said.

Burris was arrested by CHP officers around 3 a.m. on Interstate 80, just east of Baxter. Police say they did not find a gun, but there were two knives in the van.

Burris was booked into the Placer County Jail in Auburn. He remained there throughout the day Wednesday but is expected to be transported back to the Bay Area Wednesday night.

"Our detectives will be going up to Placer County to interview the suspect in this case; charges will be taken to the District Attorney's office for filing on Friday," Richmond police spokesperson Bisa French said.

According to her sister Tyrice Ross, Debbie Ross and Burris had been together for 13 years.

"He gave her flowers the day before he killed her," Tyrice Ross said.

But recently, they began to have problems.

According to her family, Ross had been confiding in Everette, a friend from the Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland.

Richmond police confirm officers had recently been called to the home Ross shared with Burris on Second Street. Ross' sister says it was last weekend.

"He didn't want her to leave, she went to leave, he tried to detain her, we called the police," Tyrice Ross said. "She told me, 'Tyrice, it's going to be all right, he'd never hurt me.' No, he didn't hurt her, he just killed her."

The toll lane and booth where Ross was killed remains closed. Caltrans said it is not sure when it will reopen.

Police say Burris has a criminal history, but they would not elaborate.

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