RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A recent rash of violence in Richmond has left the community unnerved. Three people were shot and killed since Saturday. Four other victims are recovering from gunshot wounds.
Friends of one of those fatal victims, 21-year-old Malik Banks, say he was going to school and working, trying to turn his life around. Banks was just months away from becoming a father. He was killed on Coalter Street in Mosby Court, on Saturday.
"That’s all he talked about,” said lifelong friend Curtesha Jones.
Banks was attending Fortis College, studying to become an HVAC technician, and also working in an effort to prepare for his son.
"He was going to change his life around for his child,” said Jones.
Jones grew up with Banks and remained his close friend.
The mother of his child has been left reeling, and raising a child on her own.
"When I saw her, she just broke down,” said Jones.
Since Friday, eight people have been shot across Richmond in six different incidents. Three of them were killed.
On Friday, a man was shot and wounded in the same block as Malik Banks. Saturday, Banks would be killed there. On Sunday night, a 14-year-old middle schooler was shot in a drive-by, in front of his home in south Richmond. Monday afternoon, a triple shooting in Hillside court in broad daylight, left two men dead in a car. There was another near-fatal shooting Monday evening.
“The people have to do better. They always get mad about the government and this, that and the third, when we are killing each other,” said Quanie Turner, who lives in Mosby Court.
Longtime Richmond area victim advocate Charles Willis says Richmond must act to engage our young people in positive ways, giving them outlets to resolve issues or simply spend their time.
“The battle has stared already in our neighborhoods,” said Willis.
Willis’s organization United Communities Against Crime is planning an anti-violence concert geared towards the youth this summer.
“Now is the time that we need to come together and come up with some solutions to prepare for our youth that are out here in the streets,” said Willis.
Richmond police did arrest 29-year-old Rondario Walker, Tuesday. Walker was charged with attempted murder, in the first Coalter Street shooting, Friday afternoon. That victim survived.
There will be a vigil on Redd Street on Thursday at 5 p.m. in honor of Malik Banks.
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