The parking lot outside of Pietro’s Italian Restaurant on Jefferson Davis Highway offered a much different scene Friday, June 25, following the Wednesday, June 23 murder of a woman and the heroic attempted intervention of a Thomas Dale High School graduate.
Michael Dudley, 18, was witnessing a domestic dispute, according to police reports, between Richard E. Parker, 56, and Cindy M. Parker, 45, of Rivers Bend, when Richard shot his wife, Cindy, killing her. Witnesses say Richard Parker then turned the gun on Dudley.
Parker fled the area, police said. Police obtained vehicle information and conducted a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Taco Bell near the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway and Route 10, according to police reports, and Parker was subsequently taken into custody.
Dudley was reported as being in critical condition on Thursday, but by Sunday evening at about 7 p.m. Dudley posted the following on Facebook, a popular social networking website: “Thank you everyone for all your support I’m getting better and will be out soon. Love all yall.”
Friends and family members washed cars to raise money for the Dudley family outside Pietro’s Friday, collecting almost $8,000 in washing fees and donations.
“I saw the kids washing cars out there,” said Nicole Jordan, a Chester resident. “But I didn’t need my van washed, so I just gave them some money.”
Dudley received a scholarship to Virginia State University (VSU) to play football in the fall. The scholarship seemed to be in jeopardy, until the family received a letter from VSU President Eddie Moore, Jr.
“As your family continues the healing process, please know that we are here to help in any possible way. As a gesture of our commitment to Michael and your family, I have authorized the University to honor the financial commitment to Michael,” Moore says in the letter.
Parker is charged with second degree murder, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is being held without bond in the Chesterfield County Jail pending hearings in the Chesterfield County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and Chesterfield County General District Court.