NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – After investigating him as a suspect in a pair of abductions and sexual assaults, Norfolk police linked 41-year-old Thomas J. O’Bryen to the October 2021 murder of Angela Joyner. 

Court records obtained by our investigative team help give us an idea of the nature of the attacks that led to his arrest. 

On March 26 around 3:40 a.m., O’Bryen allegedly offered a woman walking down the 4600 block of Mayflower Road a ride in a white SUV. Once in the vehicle, he revealed a gun and forced her to perform a sex act on him. When she hesitated, according to the documents, he shot her through the back of the head and demanded she continue. 

A month later, just before 4 a.m. on April 27, another woman was offered a ride – this time in a white van on the 6400 block of Chesapeake Boulevard. She too was pressured to perform a sex act on the man driving.  

When she refused, he hit her with the gun. That woman was able to escape. Both victims survived their ordeals. 

Norfolk Police announced O’Bryen’s arrest in connection with the two sexual assaults on April 28.

Court documents reveal that O’Bryen admitted to police that he was driving vehicles that matched the ones reported by the victims and was in the area of the attacks at the times they happened. He denied shooting anyone, however. 

“This is the first I’m hearing of anyone being shot,” he’s quoted as saying. 

O’Bryen was being held without bond when police linked him to Joyner’s murder. Police said they viewed him as a danger to the community in court documents. 

He’s currently facing charges including forcible sodomy, malicious wounding, abduction and use of a firearm in a felony, in addition to a 2nd degree murder charge.  

In a document pertaining to the murder charge, O’Bryen is portrayed as being cooperative with the detective and magistrate.  

“Accused apologized for his actions,” it reads. 

His previous criminal record includes a 2014 contempt charge and a 2020 drug possession charge. 

This is an active investigation. Detectives encourage anyone with additional information to contact the Special Crimes Unit at 757-664-7033, or submit an anonymous tip to the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or through the P3Tips mobile app.

Check for the latest updates.