Just hours after a community watch meeting in Eastern Henrico, a man is gunned down outside his home. Police have identified the victim as 28 year old Knighton Hill, Jr. Now family and neighbors are trying to make sense of the tragedy.
Witnesses say they heard the gunshots and then saw the devastation that followed. Now a family is in grief and a community is wondering how did this happen.
Relatives at the scene of the crime at Broadgate Dr. and Neale St. were too shaken up to speak Tuesday.
Police say the deadly shooting happened around 1 a.m.
"I think it's utterly ridiculous. Whew. It has me torn to pieces," said community advocate Alicia Rasin.
She responds to many crime scenes, but this time it's personal. She's known Hill, who she affectionately calls "TJ", all his life.
"You didn't have to take his life. That was my TJ," she cried.
Down the road at Worship and Praise Church, Pastor Timothy Kirven is hosting a National Night Out event next Tuesday.
"We are even personally related to crime because our building has been vandalized," he admitted.
It's why he wants to rally the community to work together to fight crime.
"As church and community, when we work together we can help with prevention because the authorities can't do it all by themselves, they can not…This is our community. It doesn't belong to the vandals. It doesn't belong to those who break in. It's ours," Pastor Kirven added.
With that message, those who know the victim of this latest crime are making a plea to Hill's shooter.
"I want you to turn yourself in once you watch this station, turn yourself in," Rasin said.
Neighbors say another thing that makes this so unsettling is that they just held a community watch meeting Monday night praising their efforts to reduce crime and then this happened. Now they're hoping a community continuing to come together will only help prevent this from happening again soon.
The community wide anti-crime rally will be held at 3606 East Laburnum Avenue next Tuesday at 6 PM. It's part of the National Night Out efforts happening across the country. The event is free and open to the public.
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