Teen killed in Hopewell; shooting suspects caught

Two men are now in custody charged in the murder of a 17-year-old in Hopewell.
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 2:31 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2023 at 6:47 PM EST
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HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - The Hopewell police department says two people were arrested after a shooting left a 17-year-old male dead on Monday night.

The boy was a student, enrolled virtually, at Prince George High School.

Police say the teen was shot around 9 p.m. in the 2400 block of Oaklawn Boulevard. He was transported to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Members of the community immediately helped with tips, police said Tuesday, and two suspects were arrested during a traffic stop. Police say Clifford Lamont Hill Jr. of Richmond and Xazavion Ja’Quel King of Petersburg confessed to the crime.

Hill Jr. was charged with second-degree murder and King was charged with accessory to murder.

Recently, the community has been devastated by an increase in crime and violence. On Dec. 30, an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed on Freeman Street just days before her birthday.

“It’s really heart-wrenching,” Hopewell Chief of Police A.J. Starke said. “At the end of the year, we lost an eight-year-old Paris, her funeral was just this past Saturday. It’s terrible that an eight-year-old was taken from us at such a young age...and now, I stand before as a 17-year-old has been taken.”

Just five days ago, city council held a special crime meeting to address the surge in violence.

“We’re starting to get more tips. The phones are starting to ring and I really believe the citizens are tired. They’re tired of the violence and they’re ready to get involved,” Chief Starke said.

Neighbors who spoke off camera say they heard four gunshots ring out last night and sprung out of bed to find the 17-year-old victim lying on the ground.

Through tears, they said they tried to save his life, taking the clothes off their backs to put pressure on his wounds.

Now, they say they don’t feel safe in Hopewell anymore. They say, emotionally, they will never be the same after what they witnessed.

“It hurts, I don’t know what’s going on but it’s just terrible to see young people making decisions today that impact their lives forever,” Chief Stark said. “We have a 17-year-old that has lost his life over something senseless.”

Police say they are relieved to have two 18-year-old suspects in custody who confessed to the crime.

“We do know that one of the suspects was familiar with the victim. There had been a past history, we’re not really sure what led up to them actually pulling out a firearm and taking someone’s life,” Chief Starke said.

According to Hopewell Police, in 2022 the city saw nine murders compared to three in 2021.

Now, just 10 days into 2023, another young person is lost to senseless violence in Hopewell.

Police credit the community with getting involved and providing tips to try and stop recent violence.

This is a developing story.