Coach remembers Richmond homicide victim

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 24 year old Roosevelt Byrd was shot to death on West Fourteenth Street early Sunday morning.

"BJ" Byrd as he was known was the city's 14th homicide. He was gunned down in what could be a drive by shooting. Police don't believe his murder was random, but his former coach wants his onetime star player to be remembered as more than just a statistic.

Jack Dempsey couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"When the name came up, I was devastated, I was frozen," he said when he heard the report on the news.

That name Roosevelt Byrd, was a name that reminded Dempsey the coach of another time, and a player with a world of potential.

"I saw him be such a competitor," he said. "That is what drove me to want to be a part of his life."

Byrd was a star player for the South Richmond Warriors basketball team and the Westover Warriors football team. Dempsey vividly remembers telling his family that his talent could lead him to a college education.

"So much potential, such a great athlete, such a great kid," he said.

But Byrd never made it to college.

All that potential, wasted. He was gunned down in the Manchester District and a black SUV was seen speeding away.

His family now left to only wonder what he could've been.

"This is someone's son, this is someone's brother," said Dempsey. "This is someone's grandson.'

B.J. Byrd is now a son, brother and grandson that will live on now only in his family's memory.

Police still have no suspects. They are in search of that dark-colored, full-sized SUV. It was last seen early Sunday morning heading towards Hull Street. If you know anything contact crime stoppers at 780-1000.

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