RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A bad thing happened to a nice couple in South Richmond during Christmas. They returned home from a birthday celebration and found themselves dodging bullets and shotgun blasts that tore through walls and windows from the outside into their home. They were not hurt, but their house was badly damaged.
Richmond police said the couple was not the intended target. Instead, they were innocent victims of violence who could have been killed. They called NBC12 for help repairing damages they didn't cause and can't afford to fix. There's no victims compensation fund for this type of injury.
Both Janet Brunson and Hubbert McWilliams were nervous wrecks. "There's a hole in my door about this big that would have been the back of his head had he been just a fraction of a second slower going through that bedroom. They almost killed him," Brunson said.
The close call occurred just as they were getting ready for bed and walking through making sure the house was locked up tight for the night. Janet said her neighbors heard shots too and called 9-1-1. She believes a man found dead a few days later near 38th and Midlothian Turnpike was the same man gunmen were chasing and shooting at the night her home was shot up. Police tell us there's no connection. Brunson says, "When I heard the second blast. I said, 'That's gunfire. Get down.'"
McWilliams said he was frightened too, "As soon as I walked out that door, boom boom!"
Allstate gave the couple a quote of $4,600 to cover gunshot damage to the interior, exterior and the room. "My bedroom window has been blown out. My living room has been blown out," Brunson said. "I have five shotgun blasts in my living room and the back of my jewelry armoire. I had a bunch of clothes hanging on the back of my bedroom door and every one of them have got bullet holes rifled through them."
Janet Brunson's home is insured by the good hands people. Allstate even cut her a check, but her deductible is $3,000 dollars. "I raised the deductible because it was during the time when I was very sick and I was not working at all. I raised the deductible to lower my premium, which was what I needed at the time," Brunson said. A policy change not long ago is tormenting her now. "I just went back to work at a part time job. I've had congestive heart failure and breast cancer, which I am a survivor. Thank God. It was my mistake in not revisiting the policy and changing it once I did get a job and was able to go back to work," she added.
She was back working part-time, but she was still behind on bills before this happened. She must pay the first $3,000 before Allstate pays a dime to repair her home. Brunson says, "It is very emotional because it constantly reminds us as long as I have to look at it I'm reminded that I can't afford to repair it, and I'm reminded how bad my neighborhood has gotten."
We'd like to hear from a contractor willing to help make these repairs. The number to call is 804-345-1212. Richmond Police collected many of the shell casings, and they are investigating.
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