Richmond senior facing attempted murder charges

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Ronald Leonard moved to Forest Creek because it's calm and filled with seniors 55 years and older.

"It's peaceful.  It's quiet."

He is stunned to hear that his neighbor is in jail.

Sondrah Nathaniel, 60, is now charged with attempted murder after firing her handgun outside her South Richmond apartment.

"I saw some police cars here the other day, but I didn't know what was going on because that is so unusual," Leonard said.

"Apparently there was an argument in the parking lot between two people," says James Mercante with the Richmond Police Department.  "Now they knew each other.  The argument apparently got heated."

Mercante says Nathaniel was involved in that heated argument.  He says she pulled out a handgun and popped off a single blast.

"She was charged with attempted murder. She's charged with the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.  These are serious charges," Mercante said.

Monday evening there are no details about the victim who walked away un-injured. Despite neighbors living feet away from Nathaniel's apartment no one had a clue as to what the argument was over.  The leasing office was closed Monday.  But over the phone a representative offered no comment. Guns aren't prohibited in apartments. The handgun is believed to belong to the 60-year-old.

"It's not surprising.  I don't own one, but it's not surprising," Leonard said.

While Ronald is happy Nathaniel is facing the consequences for the crime police say violence, no matter a person's age, is never the answer.

"There are a lot of ways that you can try to handle disputes, and firearms are not one of them," he said.

Nathaniel is set to go before a judge April 27 for a preliminary hearing.

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