‘It was like a war broke out:’ Woman caught in crossfire of deadly shooting says community no longer feels safe

'It was just like a war broke out': Neighbor reacts to shooting that left woman dead, children injured

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Crystal Riley says what started as a quiet evening at her apartment complex quickly became a living nightmare. The mother of three says she had just arrived home from work when the shooting began outside the Belt Atlantic Apartments in Richmond.

“I was outside minding my own business next thing you know bullets were everywhere,” Riley said as tears streamed down her face. “It was just unbelievable. You thought you were just in a movie and you were like god what is happening.”

On April 27, officers were called to The Belt Atlantic apartments in the 4000 block of Midlothian Turnpike around 6:30 p.m. for the shooting.

“Everything was happening so fast it was just like a war broke out and what makes it so bad is that it just caught us all off guard,” Riley said.

Riley said she had to take cover in a neighbor’s home to avoid being shot.

“I couldn’t run any faster, I was trampled between the steps, I just started following the kids and I ran into someone’s house,” Riley said.

Police say the victims include an infant, two adult women and two teenagers. Police say one of the women shot later died at a hospital.

Riley says the place where she should feel safest is now where she is beginning to fear most.

“I was so freaking scared and it’s not fair to me because this is where I live, and this is where I pay bills, and it’s sad that you have to come home and you can’t even make it safely to your door because you have guns in the neighborhood,” Riley said.

Riley says the community needs a greater security presence than what it has currently. She says there are multiple cameras on the property that she hopes will aid police in piecing their investigation together.

If you have any information you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 804-780-1000.

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