Two incidents involving gun violence on same street

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Detectives are investigating two incidents involving guns on the very same street in a matter of hours. Monday, Richmond Police responded to a shooting and an armed robbery on Coalter Street, near Mosby Court.

Not only were those incidents on the same street, they were on the exact same block. At 2:00 p.m. an armed robber confronted a man. Just five hours later and a few yards away, a different man was shot. Police say the two crimes aren't linked.

The people who live on Coalter Street say that kind of violence strikes almost every day.

"When gun shots go off, I call 911 many times," said one resident.

One couple was too scared to reveal their names, and that fear is very real; bullets have pierced their home and their neighbor's house next door.

"I looked and said, 'this is bullet holes.' She [the neighbor] said the bullet came through her kitchen window and ricocheted to the back of her bedroom and her little boy was up in there. He's 13 and he was up in there. She said, 'suppose he was in the kitchen he would have been hit by the bullet, probably would have been killed.'" the woman told us.

When they heard one man was robbed at gun point and another shot just outside their front door, they weren't at all surprised. They say they basically have 911 on speed dial.

Richmond Police said there have been six crimes in the neighborhood in the last thirty days. They're connecting different teams within the department to better protect these residents. Apartment security will change its hours to ensure round the clock safety. But officers say the key to ending the violence is community involvement.

"They do see more than we see. And that's why we're encouraging them to contact us," said Sector Lieutenant Marty Harrison. "Let us know what you're seeing. Let us know what's going on."

The department says there's more police presence than residents may see. Plain clothes officers are also working the area. Harrison will add a cop who'll do foot and bike patrols, as well.

(c) 2010. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.