Accused shooter admits trying to kill victim, criminal complaint states

The man accused of shooting an Ebby's Auto Painting and Collision employee said he intended to shoot the victim and hoped the victim would die, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the York County Sheriff's Office with the York County General District Court. 

Michael Sean Taylor, 40, of Hampton, was looking for the victim when he went into Ebby's Auto Painting and Collision near Merrimac Trail just before 9 a.m. Tuesday,  according to the criminal complaint.

When Taylor went inside the business, he approached Eddy's employee Chaz Hall demanding to see "Joey the painter," Joseph St. Clair, firing his handgun down into a pillar near the entrance of the building, the complaint states. 

According to the complaint, Taylor told Chaz Hall that he will kill him if Chaz Hall doesn't take Taylor to St. Clair. Taylor follows Chaz Hall and encounters Ebby's owner Edward Hall, the complaint states, forcing both at gunpoint to the garage of the body shop.

Taylor again fired his handgun into a car, threatening to kill both Chaz and Edward Hall if they didn't take him to St. Clair so he could kill him, the criminal complaint states. 

When Taylor reached the bay in which St. Clair was working on a car, Taylor shot St. Clair in the abdomen, causing him to fall, the complaint states. While St. Clair was on the ground, Taylor continued to fire his weapon at him, striking him multiple times. 

After Taylor barricaded himself inside Ebby's for three hours, and at one point spray painting the windows black so officers could not see inside, officers forced themselves into the building and lobbed four rounds of gas inside the store, Sheriff J.D. Diggs said Tuesday. 

Once Taylor was taken into custody, he was driven to the York County Sheriff's Office to be interviewed, the complaint states. Taylor was advised of his Miranda Rights, but still agreed to speak with investigators, the complaint states. 

Taylor admitted shooting St. Clair with his handgun inside the body shop, and also admitted to waking up Tuesday morning, grabbing two of his handguns and a shotgun, and intending to go to Ebby's to shoot St. Clair, according to the complaint. 

In the interview with investigators, Taylor said that he "... hopes that (expletive) dies." There was no explanation as to why he wanted to shoot St. Clair in the complaint.

Taylor, according to warrants filed in York General District Court, has been charged with the following: 

  • attempted second degree murder
  • malicious firing of a firearm inside an occupied building
  • four counts of using or displaying a firearm in committing a firearm
  • two counts abduction and kidnapping
  • aggravated malicious wounding

According to the sentencing guidelines in Virginia law, Taylor could face at least 40 years in prison if convicted on all the charges.

Taylor is scheduled to be in York General District Court 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17. 

On Apr. 10, 2001, Taylor pleaded guilty to assault and battery in Norfolk Circuit Court, according to online court records, and was given a 12-month suspended sentence and fined $700, which included court costs. Taylor also received three years of unsupervised probation, online court records state. 

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