Tramaine Marquese Poole went out in a blaze of bullets when the law finally caught up with him.
City police officials and the family members of a 28-year-old woman Poole allegedly murdered breathed a collective and heartbroken sigh of relief on Thursday, but said that a years-long healing process has only now begun.
During a press conference held in the third floor atrium of the city’s police headquarters at 1 Union Ave., New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell announced that Poole, the 43-year-old man charged with murdering Tyekqua Nesbitt on May 31 at the intersection of Wilmot Road and Wintergreen Avenue, had been apprehended by the Virginia State Police on Wednesday morning. Police also believe he shot his 36-year-old wife (not fatally) on May 7.
Poole, who was charged with killing Nesbitt in front of her 6 and 11-year-old children, died in a shootout with Virginia State Police Wednesday morning.
“Upon receiving that information,” Campbell said, “I breathed a sigh of relief because justice had been served.”
Campbell was joined on Thursday morning by nearly a dozen law enforcement officials who had worked on the two-month manhunt for Poole, as well as by Nesbitt’s two sisters, Tashauna Nesbitt and Latoya Herbert, and by Nesbitt’s mother, Cheryl Nesbitt.
With tears streaming down her face, Tashauna, who is Nesbitt’s twin sister, said she was relieved that Poole had been apprehended, but said that she and her family are only now beginning what will most certainly be a year-long process of healing from the death of a loved one.
“From day one, I promised my sister that justice would be served,” she said, “and I got that justice yesterday. I’m now a mother to four children, and even though he’s gone, this still does not bring 100 percent peace to me. Her soul is at rest, but we’re still hurting. It’s going to take not days, not months, but years to get back to somewhat of a normal life.”
Tashauna thanked the city police department’s victims advocate, Officer Jillian Knox, for spending the past 64 days with the Nesbitt family, helping them get from place to place a time when they were afraid to leave their home because Poole was on the loose, and providing emotional support at a time of crisis.
“We suffered a tragic loss,” Tashauna said, “and now we just want to heal it. We don’t want anyone else to be hurt. No retaliation.”
She implored residents to donate to the GoFundMe page that has been set up to support her sister’s two children.
Nesbitt’s sister Latoya Herbert agreed that the family can now rest a bit more easily, and also extended condolences to Poole’s family, who have now lost a loved one themselves.
“I want to say to Tramaine’s family,” she said, “I’m sorry about the way that he chose to leave this world. It wasn’t supposed to have been like this, and nobody deserves to lose their child. But we all have to agree that we all need our peace.”
Campbell praised the family for calling for peace amidst such a tragedy.
“You show us that, although bad things do happen in this world,” he said, “that despair is not the way to go … You extended grace, and that’s not something that everyone can or will do.”
Chase Ends In Shoot-out
Poole, who was wanted on a $5 million bond, fled the state after Nesbitt’s murder and evaded capture.
Until Wednesday, when he got into a shoot-out with Virginia State Police.
Troopers chased him while he was traveling in a stolen car on I-95, according to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya. The car’s driver had refused to stop for the cops. A man in the vehicle shot at the troopers during the pursuit, according to Anaya.
The driver left the highway at Exit 24. Troopers blocked an intersection and stopped the car. The man inside the car kept firing at the troopers, who fired back, according to Anaya.
The man “died at the scene.” A subsequent examination of his body by the Chief state Medical Examiner’s office indeed confirmed that he was indeed Tremaine Marquise Poole, New Haven police confirmed late Wednesday.
A female passenger in Poole’s car was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries suffered in the shoot-out.
A state police canine died from injuries after getting hit by one of the bullets.
Campbell said that, upon hearing from Asst. Chief Herb Johnson at 10:16 a.m. Wednesday that a subject fitting Poole’s had died in a gun battle with Virginia State police, he immediately sent three New Haven police detectives down to confirm Poole’s identity.
He said Virginia law enforcement has already confirmed the identity of Poole, and has alerted Poole’s spouse. But New Haven’s police force won’t be able to technically confirm the identity of Poole until they roll the suspect’s fingerprints and compare them to Poole’s fingerprint card that they have on file. Campbell said he expects his detectives will provide that official confirmation later Thursday.
He also said that the New Haven detectives will be present at the processing of the stolen car that Poole was found in. He said he hopes that that car will provide some evidence as to where Poole has been for the past two months.
Campbell said that he could not reveal any information about the car or about the woman who was found in the vehicle with Poole because of the nature of the ongoing investigation. But, he said, the department is still looking to apprehend anyone who may have provided support for Poole over the past two months.
“Poole did not leave this world without taking another life,” Campbell also announced, “the life of Virginia state trooper canine Vader, who had been in service for two years.”
Campbell said that Vader’s handler was almost shot by police during Wednesday morning’s shootout, and that Vader died during the shootout.
Campbell said the city’s police department will ask the U.S. Marshal’s Office if some of the $5,000 reward money initially offered to anyone who could provide information about Poole’s whereabouts may instead by used for Vader’s funeral.
“My first thought was: Thank God,” Campbell said about his emotional response to hearing about Poole’s apprehension in Virginia yesterday. “Thank God that this community can be at ease. Thank God that this family has a sense of peace and closure.”
Click on the Facebook Live video below to watch the full press conference.
Following is a release Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Anaya issued Wednesday afternoon:
At approximately 8:18 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2018, a Virginia State Police trooper was traveling north on Interstate 95 in Sussex County when he identified a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Connecticut. The trooper activated his lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle’s driver refused to stop for the trooper and sped away.
A pursuit was initiated north on I-95 during which time an individual in the suspect vehicle began shooting at the trooper’s vehicle. Sporadic shooting by the pursuit suspect continued as the stolen vehicle headed north on I-95 and then took Exit 24 for Owens/Route 645 in Sussex County. As the stolen vehicle approached the intersection of Loco School and Bell roads, Virginia State Police positioned themselves to stop the stolen vehicle. The pursuit suspect continued firing at the state police vehicles. One of the suspect’s bullets pierced a K9 trooper’s back passenger window and struck a state police canine riding in the back seat compartment.
Once the stolen vehicle was stopped, state troopers engaged with the suspect and shots were fired. The male suspect died at the scene and will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Va. for examination and autopsy.
A female passenger in the suspect vehicle was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The state police canine did not survive his injuries. No troopers were injured in the course of the incident.
In accordance with state police policy regarding officer-involved shootings, three troopers have been placed on administrative leave.
The investigation remains ongoing at this time.