Teenager shot and killed near middle school

A 14-year-old lost his life in a shooting this morning on the 3300 block of Ohio Avenue, Richmond police said.

Lieutenant Andre Hill said that Richmond’s shot spotter system detected several gunshots in the area around 9:22 am near the Pullman Townhouses and a block away from Lovonya De Jean Middle School.

Hill said medical personnel arrived on the scene to find the young man suffering from multiple gun shot wounds to his upper torso. Despite efforts to stabilize him, he was pronounced dead at the scene. In an emailed statement, Hill wrote that witnesses reported seeing a male running from the scene after the shooting.

Hill said the victim, whose name has not been released, was enrolled at Kennedy High School, but had not been attending school for several weeks. It is unclear why he had been absent from school.

Because of his age and the time of the incident, Hill called the shooting “brazen and callous.” Hill said it appears that the teenager was targeted and that detectives are looking into whether the violence was gang-related.

West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marcus Walton said that because the incident happened so close to Lovonya De Jean Middle School, the campus went into a lockdown for about 30 minutes following the shooting. “Even if an incident occurs off campus, we want to make sure all our students are safe in classrooms and accounted for,” Walton said.

A member of the rapid response team, a community outreach group that works as a part of Richmond’s Ceasefire program to address gun violence in the city, said that they were still trying to gather information about the victim’s family before making contact. The team member said they try to contact the family as soon as possible to provide support and help connect them with social services like grief counselors. “The family is very vulnerable immediately after, they are dealing with a lot of shock, anger and grief and we try to help them navigate the next steps and let them know they have support,” said the team member, who asked not to be named.

This death marks the fourth homicide this year in Richmond, and comes after an increase in vehicle-to-vehicle drive by shootings on various freeways passing through Richmond.

The department is requesting that anyone with information about the incident contact Detective Eric Haupt at 510-620-6541.

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