Southside apartment complex: Crime won’t define the community

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 11:18 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The investigation into the shooting deaths of a mother and daughter and the wounding of three others in South Richmond has come to a close with police making their fifth and final arrest.

Friday, police announced 18-year-old Kevon Bynum is now in custody along with four others, all accused in a shootout that killed a 30-year-old mother and her 3-month-old baby at the Belt Atlantic Apartments last month.

The owners of those apartments say they’ve done a lot to prevent crime there.

Management says it doesn’t want this latest crime to define its community. NBC12 pulled the numbers and crime has dropped in recent years there – around the same time a new company stepped in to operate the property.

Many won’t soon forget the face of little Neziah and her mother Sharnez Hill, innocent bystanders in a shootout that took their lives.

“What happened to that mother and daughter is just traumatic,” Michael Snowdown said.

His company owns the Belt Atlantic Apartments where the crime happened. The company took over the property back in 2018. Before then, the apartments were known as Midlothian Village. At that time, NBC12 routinely responded to multiple crimes there, and so did police.

“We completely changed the perimeter fencing. The lighting was upgraded,” Snowdown said.

There’s now controlled access on-site for both drivers and people who walk onto the property. There are also surveillance cameras outside. Friday, police commented about that.

“Surveillance video was a key part of solving this crime…We had three people in custody within hours and much of that was due to the analysis of the video surveillance,” Captain Rick Edwards said.

“We’re just so grateful it was there and they had access to it. It helped bring these five individuals to justice,” Snowdown added.

He doesn’t want this major crime to become the norm because he says his residents don’t deserve it.

“One of the biggest things we’re going to be doing is having our monthly resident meetings…Get their input on things that they’d like to see….[They should] live in a community that they deserve to live in,” Snowdown said.

The mother and child will be laid to rest Saturday. A funeral is scheduled at 11 a.m. at United Nations Church in South Richmond.

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