Richmond neighborhoods react to deadly month - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Richmond neighborhoods react to deadly month

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

After one of the deadliest months in years, City leaders went door to door to calm Richmonders' fears.

They're trying to figure out how to stop the violence that claimed the lives of 11 people in the month of September. Police say there's no common thread among the murders. There are no gang ties or major drug activity, which means there's no one focus for police. So, City leaders and officers hit the streets Tuesday night to get ideas from the people most affected by the killings; the people who live in the neighborhoods.

Even after a press conference with strong words from the Mayor, Police Chief and Commonwealth's Attorney, the people in Oak Grove, Blackwell and Hillside Court, where much of this violence has gone down, were still talking about crime. Almost everyone has a story.

"I had two people park their cars in front of my door sitting out there smoking weed," one man told us.

"They tried to rob him up at the corner right there," another recalled. "He was going to the store. They pulled a gun on him. Now they're moving out."

There is an overwhelming theory among residents; a feeling that because their neighborhoods are among the poorest in the city, they're targets for crime.

"It's the broken window theory that says ok you got an abandoned house, you got weeds, you got lights out, you got trees that need to be trimmed, what does it say: We don't care about this neighborhood," said Councilwoman Reva Trammell who represents much of this area. "Yes we do we care about every neighborhood."

John Ellis, who heads the local neighborhood watch, believes the city needs to step up in those areas, but so do the people who live here.

"We become friends and neighbors," Ellis explained. "Friends will look after each other. Neighbors sometimes want to turn their heads the other way."

Police are still looking for people to come forward with information in five of the September homicides. Six of them have been cleared by arrest or warrant.

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