HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico Police have identified a suspect in the deadly double-shooting as 39-year-old Abdool Z. Zaman, who is wanted for two counts of second degree murder.
The suspect is known to the two victims and police said the shooting was not a random act of violence.
Officers were called to the 200 block of Airport Place in Highland Springs around 12:15 p.m. Thursday for a reported shooting. Part of N. Airport Drive in front of the Oakmeade Apartments was closed down for roughly five hours as officials investigated.
Henrico Police have confirmed that the incident led to the deaths of Leona Samlall, 18, and Vanessa Zaman, 18. One victim died on scene, while the other was transported to a local hospital, sources said.
School officials confirmed Samlall was a student at Highland Springs High School about two years ago, but withdrew. There is no record of Zaman with the Henrico County School System.
“It’s really heartbreaking for any mother, father, aunt, uncle," said Schmere Scott, who lives in Oakmeade. "It’s not just affecting the parents, it’s affecting the entire community, because we’re all out here worried and stressed as to what exactly happened. We have to live here and it’s like did they get the guy who did this?”
"We believe in the power of prayer and it hurts; it hurts when young people’s lives are taken,” said Worship and Praise Church Pastor Timothy Kervin.
Kervin and several others were seen praying outside of Highland Springs High School Friday afternoon. The group said following Thursday’s tragic shooting, now is the time for prayer.
“The incident didn’t happen at Highland Springs High School, however there’s been a lot of attention because of the age and they may have friends who attend high school here,” said Charles Willis, with United Communities Against Crime.
Meanwhile, Virginia State Police records show Samlall has been on the missing children’s list for the last two years. Her last date of contact recorded October 14 of 2016, meaning she’s been reported missing for the last 26 months.
Some neighbors who live in the Oakmeade Apartments where the shooting happened created a memorial for the two teens.
The woman who placed balloons, candles and stuff animals near the crime scene said the community is shaken by this horrible crime.
“We don’t have a lot of information, but it was a family and we know there are two beautiful ladies who are no longer here with us, living on this side of the earth and that we continue to pray for the family,” Willis said.
A spokeswoman for the Richmond Division of the FBI confirmed Friday morning they are involved in the ongoing investigation, providing whatever resources Henrico Police may need.
Thursday afternoon the Henrico Police Department worked with the school system to get the students home safely; including escorting some of the young children home who live in the apartment complex.
Highland Springs High School, Elko Middle School, Fair Oaks Elementary and Donahoe Elementary were all placed on a precautionary lockdown as policed investigated the shooting.
Many parents walked to the intersection of Nine Mile Road and N. Airport Drive to pick up their children amidst the blue lights lining the roadway.
“We’re all trying to figure out why,” Scott said. "Why do these type of things have to happen? Is there any other way to solve issues other than violence? I’m starting to think people don’t want to use any other way than violence.”
Zaman is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and approximately 160 pounds. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information is asked to call Henrico Police at 804-501-5000 or Crime Solvers at 804-780-1000.