Neighbors help police catch suspect - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Neighbors help police catch suspect

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – We've uncovered something you rarely hear of these days: neighbors not only getting involved but going out of their way to help police. South Richmond residents jumped into action when officers chased Anthony Brooks Jr. through the Davee Gardens neighborhood. Police said he'd just shot a man six times.

This was the same community where police conducted a walk-through just the night before the shooting.

Often times when people see a large police presence in their neighborhood, they seek shelter in their homes but that was definitely not the case there.

To hear police recount the tale of Anthony Brooks' arrest, it was a team effort. The first 911 call came in as a shooting on Summerhill Avenue just after 11 o'clock Tuesday morning.

Officers found a man who had been shot in the leg six times and the suspect was on the run. He was heading toward Lyle Hatcher's neighborhood.

"I noticed an aircraft circling once, twice, and after the seventh time I knew something was going on," he recalled.

He saw a man bolt across his yard. He said he could tell he was running from something. His first instinct was to call authorities.

"I said ‘I don't know if this is an emergency or not but there's a guy that just ran across my yard hiding in the shed next door,'" Hatcher explained.

He didn't turn a blind eye.

"He just strolled out, just walked down the street like he lived there but I knew different," Hatcher described. "So that's when I saw the officers coming down the alley and said 'he went that way.' They took off like jackrabbits."

With a police plane circling above, a K-9 unit on the ground and neighbors pointing the way, they nabbed Brooks hiding in a shed.

"45 minutes on a shooting like that to me is phenomenal especially since he had left the scene on foot," Officer Daniel Awad, who helped catch the suspect, said. "He could have went anywhere."

Police give credit for the quick apprehension to neighbors and the relationships they've formed. We saw those relationships solidified just the night before during a neighborhood walk through.

"Without the citizens taking charge and ownership of their neighborhood a lot of things would miss us because there's less of us and there's more of them," maintained Officer Jeremy Nierman.

The 18-year-old Brooks is facing malicious wounding and gun charges.  We're told the victim is in stable condition at VCU Medical Center.

No word yet, on motive in the shooting.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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