Richmond police: Woman charged after shooting at panhandler who hit her with chair
Charges have been filed against both individuals
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Police Department is investigating after a woman shot at a panhandler who had hit her with a chair.
VCU Police were initially called to the intersection of Henry and Broad streets at 10:23 a.m. Thursday, July 7, for reports of a shooting.
Richmond police said the incident started when a male panhandler asked a woman for money. Police say after the woman declined, the man picked up a cafe chair and hit her with it.
She then pulled a gun, police said, and started shooting as he ran.
Richmond resident Candace Brown says she often frequents a restaurant near where the incident took place. She says the confrontation should not have escalated in the way it did and endangered innocent lives.
“People need to take it down a notch because it’s not that serious all the time,” Brown said. “Why can’t I just come to get my food, go where I’m getting ready to go, and not be worried about violence in the area that I’m patronizing?
Police say the woman fled the area, going the wrong way down Broad Street to chase after the man before being pulled over by a VCU police officer and detained.
“It was probably self-defense for her, but when she took it a step farther, that’s when it was overkill,” Brown said. “There is a responsibility with people who own weapons.”
Officers found the man, Mark Banks, 29, of Richmond, nearby and took him into custody. He is charged with malicious wounding.
On Friday, the woman, Demetrea Flowers, 53, of Richmond, was charged with attempted murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Police said she was charged after they consulted with the Office of Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.
No other injuries were reported, and other charges are possible as the investigation continues.
On its alert page late Thursday morning, VCU said there was no known threat to the community.
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