RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond police said they have made an arrest in a carjacking that is possibly related to the murder of a 3-year-old who was shot and killed in the Hillside Court neighborhood.
At 4:09 p.m., Richmond Police Department officers were called to the 1700 block of Southlawn Avenue for reports of random gunfire and for a report of a person shot.
Police arrived on the scene and found 3-year-old Sharmar Hill, Jr. suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.
The child was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
Detectives interviewed people who were in the area of Southlawn Avenue, which Richmond Police say is a busy street in the Hillside neighborhood.
Richmond Detectives said they are currently investigating several incidents from this weekend near the homicide that could possibly be related.
Police released the following information on the series of incidents:
- "On Friday at approximately 9:58 p.m., officers were called to the 2400 block of Columbia Street for the report of a robbery/carjacking that occurred in the 2600 block of Berwyn Street. A female ride share driver reported two male customers brandished a firearm and robbed her of personal items. She fled on foot and the two males drove away in her newer model Kia, white in color.
- Just before midnight on Friday, and twice more early on Saturday, officers were called to the 1600 block of Rosecrest Avenue for calls of random gunfire. This area is a short distance from the Saturday homicide on Southlawn Avenue. One witness reported seeing a newer model vehicle, white in color, leaving the scene.
- Detectives responded to the 1700 block of Southlawn Avenue for the homicide investigation. Information was received indicating a white vehicle sped away after the shooting.
- Detectives developed a suspect in the carjacking and disseminated the information. In the early hours of Sunday, officers in First Precinct located the suspect, Antonio L. Harris, 21, of the 1300 block of Evergreen Avenue, and arrested him. He has been charged with carjacking and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. His booking photo is attached. Further charges are possible following consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney."
Police are asking anyone in the community to come forward with information regarding any of the incidents.
Richmond City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson released the following statement:
“This little 3-year-old old boy was playing right in front of his door with his sisters. His sisters did all they could to protect their baby brother, but bullets are faster and the shooter did not care. Several shots were fired in this residential community, where many children have no choice to live and play area. This is a disaster and a tragedy. I am sick to my bones for the family, mom, dad, sister, total family and friends, and the city. I will work with the city and RRHA to address the family’s needs and special counsel. A safety plan that protects the well being of our most needed families must be revisited.”
Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority CEO, Damon Duncan, released a statement calling the shooting an ‘unimaginable tragedy.’
“He was doing what kids do. They were outside, playing and enjoying life," said Pastor Robert Winfree with New Life Deliverance Tabernacle Church.
Pastor Windree rushed to Southlawn Avenue, where the shooting occurred that evening.
“It was chaotic," he said, adding “The community found out that it was not just another shooting, but a shooting that took the life of a 3-year-old, then the whole mood changed.”
His church is one of the first organizations called to help the community with any issues, including making difficult calls like the one to Hill’s family.
“One of my members was on the phone with the father, who was at work. And I just want you to imagine that: being at work, and being helpless, and not knowing anything you can do right now," he said.
He says that the boy's mother was with him when he was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
The Pastor says his plan is to provide counselors to the people of Hillside Court – given the extremely tragic nature of this death, and he will be reaching out to the residents soon.
This is considered a death investigation, and anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective J. Fultz at (804) 646-3929 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000
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