Petersburg police identify victims of Wednesday night’s shootings

Published: Dec. 12, 2019 at 5:50 PM EST
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Petersburg police are investigating two deadly shootings that happened on Wednesday night, breaking the city’s record for the most in one year.

Police said the first shooting happened in the 10 block of Cherry Street around 7:43 p.m. near the Quick Stop and ABC store.

When police arrived, they found a man in the roadway who had been shot. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Sources say the victim was shot in the head.

Police identified the Cherry Street victim as Royal Briggs, 43, of Petersburg. Those who knew Briggs say he was a father and lived close to where he was killed.

While police were responding to the Cherry Street shooting another call came in.

Police were called to a second shooting at Summit Point Apartments on Betty Court, where a man who was shot in a hallway. Officers said the victim has died.

The victim was identified as Zaquan Jones, 22, of Petersburg. Friends of Jones says he was expecting a baby in just a few months.

“Marty, you need to come back. Somebody has been shot. He’s laying down and he looks as if he was dead. I said ‘I will be right there,’ and I see police cars going the other way and I thought this was something,” Martt Rennert recalled.

Rennert works for the apartment community.

“In the building where the incident occurred, there are three children. I don’t know how I would feel if that was my child, but I take it very personally,” Rennert said.

Rennert has been working to get police to add extra patrols to the area for months, and admits the area was once filled with crime and abandoned.

“The apartments were totally decimated here. They were just neglected for about a decade,” Rennert said.

His team’s now working hard to renovate units and vows to make this a safe place to raise a family.

In fact, he’s since met with police, they are adding extra patrols to the area.

“Just like you want to go home and enjoy peace and quiet, so does everyone else here,” Rennert said.

This is the city’s 19th and 20th homicides of the year. The city broke the record for the most in one year with the 19th homicide.

There is no suspect information at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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