RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 20-year-old Kareem Shaquille Brown died in the crash that happened early Saturday morning and now another man is in police custody.
Brown and two passengers were heading downtown when a gun went off inside the car. The vehicle then crashed into two utility poles on Broad near 17th St.
At this point, no one knows why a gun went off inside Brown's car just before 1:00 a.m. Police are examining a weapon and have detained one of the passengers for questioning. Detectives can't say for sure whether the crash or the shooting killed him.
NBC12 producer John Spacek and a friend were near the crash scene early this morning. The friend happened to be in the right place at the right time. He is a doctor at UVA Medical Center.
"He said that the power pole had come down," Spacek explained. "There were sparks flying all over the place and saw some people pull this guy out of the car."
The doctor and a nurse performed CPR, but it was too late to save Brown's life.
"You might see it on TV but it's different to see an actual scene with police," he said. "They were searching around every parked car here with a flashlight."
The crash damaged both utility poles and knocked out power in the area. Even 12 hours after the accident, parts of Broad and 17th Streets remained closed. Drivers were rerouted with parking lots and side streets serving as detours.
Jemal Colden waited as crews finished their work. He has a Valentine's day stand at this very intersection, a stand he had taken down less than an hour before the accident.
"It's very scary because we were just right on the other corner," he said. "I'm pretty sure it would have been a scary moment, seeing a car barreling down the street and seeing it take out two power poles and not knowing whether it was going to stop."
Police are very specific in saying the public has no reason to worry; this was not a random act of violence. Spacek however says the situation is particularly sad.
"He was only two or three blocks away from the hospital and he didn't make it," he said.
Police are consulting with the Commonwealth's Attorney but at this point no charges have been filed. Police have not yet released the name of the person in custody.