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Home invasion leaves elderly woman dead, roils neighborhood

on August 26, 2011

An early morning home-invasion robbery that terrorized a family of five Friday left an elderly woman dead and a man in critical condition with a gunshot wounds.

At 3:56 a.m. police responded to a 911 call from a home in the 3200 block of Moran Avenue.

Police arriving on the scene found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and an elderly woman dead in a bedroom, said Det. Nicole Abetkov. It was not clear whether the man interrupted the invasion attempt by walking into the kitchen in the predawn hour or startled burglars already in the home.

“The man woke up early to prepare breakfast for the family and confronted the suspect or suspects and was shot,” Abetkov said.

As of 11:30 a.m., police were interviewing family members and a man they described as a “person of interest” at the local police station, Abetkov said.

“Our person of interest is a parolee who was in the area right after the crime occurred and police responding made contact with him,” Abetkov said.

Abetkov described the occupants of the home, which sits in the normally quiet North & East neighborhood, as an “extended family of five.”

“This looks like a hardworking family, no trouble,” Abetkov said.

Two elementary school age children in the home were unharmed, Abetkov said.

The wounded man underwent surgery at an area hospital this morning and is expected to survive, according to police.

“We are getting cooperation from witnesses in the neighborhood,” Abetkov said.

At about 1:30 p.m., Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown said police may be nearing a break in the investigation.

“We have significantly strong leads that we had right away.” Brown said. “I am confident this is going to result in arrests sooner rather than later.”

The North & East neighborhood is among the local communities with a particularly strong neighborhood association and an active base of block leaders.

Within hours, resident Felix Hunziker announced on his Facebook page a gathering tonight in support of the victims.

“Neighbors and fellow Richmond residents,” the post read. “A candlelight vigil to express our sorrow and solidarity for the victims of this horrible incident will occur from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 3234 Moran Avenue. Please bring a candle to hold and feel free to leave flowers and/or a card.”

Further plans for contributions and other assistance to the victims’ family are being worked on. Details will be posted at when available.

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