Jackson Ward Association reacts to recent homicide - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Jackson Ward Association reacts to recent homicide

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A party turns violent and deadly. A 24-year-old man was shot and killed at a birthday party in Jackson Ward Sunday morning.

Witnesses say the gunfire broke out after a group of strangers arrived at the party on West Marshall Street.

Leaders in Jackson Ward say they plan to stay in constant contact with the police department to keep this from happening again.

Take a walk in the Jackson Ward community and chances are, someone will be out on the sidewalk. Association Vice President, Leighton Powell says neighbors should be mindful of the heavy foot traffic.

"You have to be very careful," said Powell. "We are an urban neighborhood downtown. There are a lot of different entities and groups in the mix. You have kids coming and going all hours of the day and night.

During the early morning hours Sunday, witnesses say a large group of men walked up to a home uninvited and shot 24-year-old Nathan Ratigan. He was at a party celebrating a friend's birthday.

"Our prayers go out to the family of the young man killed," Powell added. "It's shocking to hear about something like that in our neighborhood."

Powell says she and other leaders on the board continue to work closely with police especially when a crime this devastating hits this close to home. The homicide has also rocked the VCU community. Jess Rawls received a text alert-one of many becoming all too familiar.

"We keep getting all these text messages about it," said Rawls. "It's really concerning but if you live here you're used to it. "You just don't really think about it. When you hear a person was killed, it's kind of like crap what do you do?"

Powell always encourages neighbors to watch out for each other and call police if they feel they're in danger.

This is the 12th homicide reported in Richmond since September 1.  

Even though some of the violence involves groups of men approaching victims, police can't pinpoint one particular motive.

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