NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News police hosted a prayer vigil and community walk the day after a longtime dentist and military veteran was shot and killed outside his office.
Newport News police said 65-year-old William Trolenberg was found by officers near his BMW in the parking lot behind Deer Park Dental. Officers were called to the scene at the intersection of Huber Road and Jefferson Avenue around 5:15 p.m.
Trolenberg later died at the hospital.
The dental office is closed until further notice. Signs on the doors read, “Sorry for the inconvenience the office is closed until further notice.”
A woman placed a flower on a parking space outside the office Thursday morning. The prayer and walk for Trolenberg is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the dentist office.
“This happened in a residential area and in the…early evening, just after 5 o’clock. That’s a concern for me,” said Chief Steve Drew, who became emotional about the situation. “I don’t like seeing some of the looks I saw on residents’ faces today.”
According to the business website, Tolenberg, who lived in Hampton, had been practicing at the location since 2001. He previously served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, retiring as Chief, General Dentistry Element, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.
“To see a peer gunned down is just devastating,” said Newport News Mayor McKinley Price, who serves as a dentist just up the road. “I am incredibly shaken up.”
Investigators entered the business around 10:30 p.m. to check for fingerprints.
Police released several images of a person of interest in the case, but have not yet identified a suspect.
Thursday afternoon, Newport News police and the community gathered in the spot where a beloved dentist was shot.
“It, it’s shocking,” said friend James Pucci. “It hurts. It’s like a family member getting killed.”
It’s been a day since Dr. William Trolenberg died, yet people who knew the 65-year-old are still numb.
“He was a great fellow,” Pucci added. “He helped everyone.”
“It is mind boggling to me somebody would do something like that,” Pucci said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
“I’m really at a loss of words right now,” said patient Ahmed Yousef. “I’ve been here for 11 plus years. I really feel bad for him, because he was such a nice guy.”
They say it is just hard to believe, the dentist who was only two years from retirement is gone.
“Anybody you talk to that knows him will have the same response response,” Pucci said. “Everybody knows how great he is.”
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Newport News Detective Comer at 757-570-9092.
“I hope who ever did it is caught,” Yousef added. “That is just really messed up.”