Homicides up in Richmond now compared to this time last year - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Homicides up in Richmond now compared to this time last year

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Crime scenes are becoming a frequent and tragic reminder of nearly two dozen lives lost to violence since the year began. As police look for solutions, a South Side mother is pleading for answers.

Wednesday, Richmond police canvassed a South Side apartment complex alerting neighbors of recent crime trends. It follows three straight days of violent crimes all across the city.

"Oh my God. Oh my God," Diane Johnson cried.

No comfort could ease the grieving mother's tears.

"Why you do that? Come forward," she said to the shooter who is at large.

Overnight, someone shot and killed her son Traelle, 25, outside of the Chippenham Place Apartments.

"Whoever killed my son please come forward. You took someone I really, really love," she cried.

The death is one of three in as many days in a violent week in Richmond.

It started Sunday - when shots rang out in the 2000 block of Fairfield Avenue. Monday, two people were shot outside a South Richmond convenience store, bullets killing 26 year old Dominique Mangram. Then on Tuesday, someone shot and killed 47 year old Jay Wood in an alley on North 21st street - just hours before Johnson was gunned down.

"This is a social problem. It's not a school problem. It's not a police problem. It's a social problem within our communities," said Charles Willis with Citizens Against Crime.

As a response to the growing violence, his group is holding a prayer vigil Friday.

"We're hoping that folks will come out, that they will bring candles and we want to pray with that family, but we're going to also be praying for all of the families," he said.

Families like the one mourning a young father's death.

"He was a sweet person. He just stayed to himself. Why did you take my baby, why, why?" Johnson asked.

Police have made no arrests in any of these cases but in some of them police say they have strong leads.

There have been seven more homicides in Richmond this year than this time last year.

The community prayer vigil will be held Friday at 6pm at Jefferson Park in Church Hill.

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