CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — More than 15 years after a 21-year-old lost his life in Chesterfield County, authorities believe they are one step closer to solving the murder case.
Herber Felipe Hernandez Sucup was killed on Sept. 13, 2006. Chesterfield County Police (CCPD) said it was approximately 2:17 a.m. when the suspect emerged from his home at the South Pointe Landing Apartment Complex and started shooting at a red Ford Explorer with three people inside.
Sucup lost his life in the back seat. But the driver of the Explorer, Eliseo Camacho managed to make it to a nearby convenience store. Police said he was hospitalized, and ultimately survived his injuries. A third person in the SUV was unharmed.
At the time, then-Captain Karl Leonard, who now serves as Sheriff in Chesterfield County, told 8News that authorities were working to determine a motive.
“Something had happened to cause this to occur like it did,” he said. “It’s not just a random, arbitrary act. We’re still trying to get to the bottom of that, trying to find out what the motive is, what the reasoning behind this whole thing is.”
Dimas DeJesus Luna, then 31, was identified as the suspect in this case. But he was nowhere to be found.
The morning of Sept. 14, 2006, however, his black Toyota truck was spotted by a neighbor not far from the crime scene. Although Luna was not inside the truck, police told 8News at the time that they believed Luna was armed and dangerous, and could still be in the area.
Authorities said that he eventually escaped to Guatemala. Chesterfield County Commonwealth’s Attorney Stacey Davenport said she is not aware of exactly when that happened.
“I cannot confirm that anyone knew of his whereabouts after the homicide,” she said.
It was not until 2017 that Chesterfield Police said Luna had been located in Central America. But at the time, he was facing legal trouble in Guatemala.
In March of 2018, detectives obtained indictments for Luna for first-degree murder, malicious wounding, shooting into an occupied vehicle and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Authorities began pursuing his extradition from Guatemala, which Davenport said took longer than normal.
“He challenged the extradition and went through an appeals process in Guatemala prior to the U.S. Marshals being able to actually take him into custody,” she said.
Davenport said that the extradition process took more than two years, during which time law enforcement officials in Chesterfield County were required to file numerous documents with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to show that there was both sufficient probable cause to support the charges, and that the prosecution would proceed after Luna was brought to the U.S.
On Jan. 21, 2022, Luna set foot on U.S. soil, landing at Dulles International Airport. The now-46-year-old was taken into custody by CCPD. Luna is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail without bond, and is due back in court in March.
Authorities have not publicly released what they believe lead to the 2006 incident. However, Davenport confirmed that Luna, Hernandez Sucup and Camacho all knew each other before the night of the shooting.
Although CCPD confirmed to 8News that they have been in contact with the victims’ families over the years, police did not say how those families took the news of Luna’s extradition.