12 separate shootings in Richmond result in 6 dead since Easter

Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Since Easter Sunday, there have been 12 shootings in the city of Richmond, half of those deadly.

Four took place in the past 24 hours, among the victims: a 15-year-old boy.

It was three gunshots from that shooting that sent Tina Bowles and her family rushing to the floor before checking what was happening outside. She lost her son two years ago when he 25 years old, so the death of another young person hit her even harder.

“I really understand how the parents feel right now because I lost my son by violence,” Bowles said.

Richmond Police responded to Thursday’s fatal shooting on Afton Avenue around 4:45 p.m.

“Bam, bam, bam! We ran to the door, and that was that. People was coming from everywhere. It was so loud, it sounded like it was on the inside of my house,” Bowles said, adding that she saw the teen body laid out across her neighbor’s front yard.

On Friday afternoon, a woman claiming to be the victim’s cousin left items to memorialize him.

But that was only one of half a dozen shooting deaths and a dozen shootings since the weekend.

Sunday through Wednesday averaged one deadly shooting per night, including the death of VCU student Cody Woodson on Gilmer Street and Varina high school student, Vinshaun Johnson.

Minutes before the Afton Street incident, police say a man and girl were shot on Pollock Street.

Following the shootings on Thursday, RPD Chief Gerald Smith said that it’ll take out of the box ideas to help curb the violence, adding “it’s the responsibility of the city and the community and the society to come together and find something to do to help these kids.”

Early Friday morning saw the death of another man on North 1st and East Charity after police say an argument broke out at a nearby convenience store.

Later on Gordon Avenue, police then responded around noon to a man who was shot in the leg. He is expected to be okay.

Bowles understands that people are getting restless from being inside all the time during the pandemic, but hopes that the situation gets better, so no one else will have to know the grief that comes with losing a loved one.

“I’m still grieving over the loss of my son because that was my baby,” she said.

On Friday afternoon, Mayor Levar Stoney released this statement:

“This week we lost six Richmonders to gun violence. We lost six people who will be mourned. Six neighbors who will be missed. Six loved ones who cannot be replaced.

“The Richmond Police Department is diligently investigating these tragedies. We will do whatever we can to bring the perpetrators to justice, in honor of these Richmonders and for the safety of our city.

“This week is a somber and heartbreaking reminder of the devastation gun violence creates in our community. It’s a crisis we must confront head on, boldly addressing root cases, so that every Richmonder can live their life to the fullest, regardless of where in our city they may live.”

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