UPDATE: First murder in six years in Shockoe Bottom

Published: Apr. 25, 2010 at 8:32 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2010 at 8:26 PM EDT
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By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond police continue to search for the person responsible for the city's latest homicide.

Officers found a man who had been shot in the parking lot of the Have a Nice Day Cafe in the 1800 block of East Main Street just before 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

Richmond Police have identified the victim as Jeremy A. Uzzle, 20, of the 300 block of Beech Road, Petersburg.

Most people we talked to couldn't remember the last time we reported on a murder in Shockoe Bottom.

According to police records the department hasn't investigated a homicide in the area for several years.

January 31st 2004, police respond to a parking lot in the 1800 block of East Grace Street for a murder involving a narcotics violation.

Less than two months later, detectives investigate another homicide in the 3100 block of Water Street near the river.

Since then, nothing -- The streets of Shockoe Bottom haven't seen a murder investigation in more than six years.

Saturday morning all that changed.

Diana Douglas lives in the building overlooking the parking lot of Have a Nice Day Cafe on 18th and Main.

"I just heard a lot of police and emergency sirens," she said.

Police found a man with a single gunshot wound.

He was taken to VCU Medical Center where he died.

"I am a little surprised," she said. "I find this area pretty safe overall."

Nicholas Bates with the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association says they work very hard to make sure the area stays that way.

"The neighborhood will get labeled as dangerous because of one or two specific instances," said Bates. "If you look at the neighborhood's overall crime record in the past couple years, it's actually been one of the better neighborhoods in the city."

We looked into police records.

Since the beginning of the year the bottom has seen 32 assaults, 23 thefts and nine drug violations.

Other common calls are for public drunkenness, DUI's and hit-and-runs.

RPD statistics show the neighboring sector, which includes Church Hill, has already seen two homicides this year.

"One is too many for us though," said Bates. "To be honest with you one is too many."

Police tell us there was a large crowd in the parking lot when the shooting occurred.

They're hoping someone saw what happened.

If you have information that can help, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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