‘It was just unbelievable’: Neighbors react to string of shootings in Richmond, Henrico

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:28 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A string of gun violence in Central Virginia has left Shirley Chambers on edge.

“It was just unbelievable,” Chambers said.

Chambers, who lives along South Ivy Avenue in Highland Springs, was inside her home Thursday afternoon when she heard at least 20 gunshots ring out.

“I thought I was actually about to be shot. I thought that they were coming through my house,” she said.

Chambers saw officers rush to the scene, where they found a man outside a home with gunshot wounds. The man was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, but is now listed in stable condition.

Evidence markers line South Ivy Avenue after a reported shooting.
Evidence markers line South Ivy Avenue after a reported shooting.(Source;NBC12 | NBC12)

Henrico Police said shots were fired on South Ivy Avenue between East Beal and East Read streets, resulting in at least one victim injured along with property damage.

On Friday morning, NBC12 spotted bullet holes pierced through windshields and cars along South Ivy Avenue. Shirley Chambers said two bullets hit her car, which pierced her radiator and hood.

A bullet pierces the hood of a Henrico woman's car.
A bullet pierces the hood of a Henrico woman's car.(Source;NBC12 | NBC12)

“All last night, I was scared to even walk in my kitchen not knowing if bullets were going to come flying through the house,” she said.

This shooting is part of a series of shootings that happened in Central Virginia within five hours on Thursday.

Hours after the shooting in Henrico, a Richmond Police officer was flagged to a scene in the 1000 block of Mosby Court around 6:30 p.m. A police officer approached a man who was suffering from a gunshot wound. The man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

More than an hour after this, Richmond Police responded to a report of a person shot at the footbridge at Belle Isle. Officers found a man with a gunshot wound. The man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. On Friday afternoon, officers said his condition is improving.

A man was taken to the hospital after officers found him with a gunshot wound near the foot...
A man was taken to the hospital after officers found him with a gunshot wound near the foot bridge of Belle Isle.(Source;NBC12 | NBC12)

At 8:29 p.m., officers responded to the 3300 block of 1st Avenue for a person shot. Officers found a man with gunshot wounds several blocks away along Maryland Avenue.

The man was taken to the hospital for life-threatening injuries. Just a few hours before this, officers also went to the hospital for a report of a gunshot victim with non-life-threatening injuries. That person was dropped off in a private vehicle. Officers believe the shooting happened in the 2300 block of 1st Avenue. Officers don’t believe these two incidents are related.

William McDonald Jr. was home when he heard the gunshots ring out in the area of Milton Street.

Richmond Police find a man with gunshot wounds in the area of Milton Street.
Richmond Police find a man with gunshot wounds in the area of Milton Street.(Source;NBC12 | NBC12)

“I was watching football when I heard a lot of shots go off,” he said. “I’ve been living in Richmond all my life. I won’t say I don’t feel safe, but I don’t run the streets like I used to, I don’t be in the street. Hopefully it will stop.”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears stopped by one of the shooting scenes on Thursday evening after leaving a gun violence prevention meeting.

“In one city, four shootings. It’s a travesty, something is terribly wrong and we’ve got to figure it out,” she said.

Sears urged action to find solutions to the violence.

“I want people to understand that, at the very highest levels, we care and we’re gonna try to figure it out because we have to. Our babies are dying,” she said.

Anyone with information or tips about these shootings can call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.