Richmond Police step up patrols after gun violence

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond Police are stepping up patrols on West Broad Street near Virginia Commonwealth University because of increased gun violence in the area. Police said they're also working with local businesses, to find out how they can improve security.

We're told those incidents of violence stemmed from parties being held in a building on the corner of West Broad and Lombardy Streets. We talked to the manager of the property who said he rents out the space for many purposes and now has now noticed a pattern. He told us Monday night, he won't let anyone use his building for parties anymore.

Imagine you're walking home from the gym to your apartment near VCU campus and all you see are the flashing blue lights of cop cars.

"Around that corner somewhere there just seemed to ring out sounds of gunshots coming our way. We were just a little surprised and thought, 'Is this really going on?'" said VCU Junior Sam Talarman and it's not the first time he has had that thought.

February 13th, police responded to the Lowe's parking lot after shots were fired. That very next Friday, on the 19th, EMS transported a man with multiple gunshot wounds to the hospital. And that same weekend officers were again called to the area. The locations are just blocks from the Siegel Center, dorms and student apartments.

In the last couple months, Terry Bacon has rented out space in the building on the corner of West Broad and Lombardy to a number of party promoters. He said he was told they were hosting sweet 16's and birthday parties and that he did require security.

"From the first time we were like, 'Ok, what is this? Ok a group of kids got together, some stuff happened,'" said Bacon. "Then it happened again. Ok, this is a pattern. So what do we need to do from here for this not to continue?"

Bacon told us he's working with police.

"We do not agree that these types of events should be happening if this is the outcome," he said.

Bacon also said he's in the process of finding a more permanent tenant for the building. Meanwhile, Richmond Police are still looking for suspects in Friday's shooting. The victim remains in critical but stable condition.

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