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Richmond sees its first homicide in two months

on February 5, 2013

Richmond had its first homicide of 2013 on Monday. The Richmond Police Department identified the victim as Richmond resident William Wheeler, 26. His body was found at around 3 a.m., alongside the train tracks near Lucas Park, at Lucas Avenue and 10th Street. He died of apparent gunshot wounds.

It was the city’s first homicide since late November. Richmond ended 2012 with 18 homicides, the lowest number since 2001.

Neighbors near the park said they heard gunshots around midnight or 1 a.m., and Richmond Police Detective Nicole Abetkov confirmed that the city’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system picked up shots at around 1 a.m., though the system placed the shots several blocks from where the body was found. Police responded to the location indicated by ShotSpotter, but found nothing, Abetkov said. Around 3 a.m., someone flagged down an officer to report a body in the area, Abetkov said. The victim was declared dead at the scene.

“It sounded like just one gun, but just going off nine times, just bam bam bam bam bam right in a row, like they held their finger on the trigger or something,” said Julie Stahl, who lives across the street from Lucas Park. “Seemed like it wasn’t going to stop, seemed like it was going to go on forever.”

By 11 a.m. on Monday, the only people at the scene were the cleanup crew, digging blood out of the mud alongside the railroad tracks. Tammi and Douglas Jones, a mother and son team from Advance Crime Scene Restoration, tipped shovelfuls of dirt and debris into a red biohazard bag to be incinerated. The area was just outside the chain-link fence that separates Lucas Park from the train tracks. A mattress, desk, children’s toys, broken bottles and stereo parts were piled nearby. A piece of plywood was smeared with what appeared to be bloodstains, including a visible handprint.

The Richmond Police Department has made no arrest in the case. The Department is asking residents for information. “Any information at all, no matter how small or minute people think it is,” said Abetkov.

Residents can call Detective Daniel Garcia at 510-621-1244 or the anonymous tip line: 510-232-TIPS.


  1. Roger F on February 5, 2013 at 10:03 am

    William lived two doors down from us. Another senseless act of violence. Sad story.

  2. Roxanne Byias on February 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Man it’s sad to see another person go

  3. Wheeler on February 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    William was my brother! And somebody took his life! It’s a Shame hw people can line up to go to funerals… But can be so quick to cause one… He didn’t deserve this.. He wasn’t that kind of person…. He’s made mistakes but never anything like this! Just imagin if this was YOUR BROTHER. Your son… your father…. Karma is a very ugly *woman* … But William did nothing to deserve this!

    • Breezy on February 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      so srry for your loss knew Will frm school was the sweetest,funniest,nicest dude ever it hurts smebody would do this 2 him 🙁

    • Donna on February 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Sorry to hear of your loss…I can’t believe it myself. I just meant Will in Dec 2012 and in the short time I knew him he earned and special place in my heart. We had many long talks about our lives and he gave me a lot of good advice. I will never forget him and you and your family are in my prayers. If he hasn’t already been place to rest could you please contact me regarding any funeral arrangements. God Bless

    • kt on March 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      I had a brother named Billy Wheeler who was killed in a drive by 15 years ago today. I tried to google his name and this is what came up. I’m so sorry for your loss I don’t even know you but I do know your pain.

  4. Makayla on February 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I loved kas to death i just buried a loved one the day b4 this i don’t understand why this happened an i pray he didn’t suffer i never got the chance to tell him how much he meant if anyone has news about the funeral let me know of not ill just go to his house love you will miss you already can’t look at this shit no more its making me sick

  5. lina bee on February 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Will was my long time friend and so much more. he was a great guy smart, charismatic, funny and had a lot going for himself. He had a bright future and touched so many people lives. He will never be forgotten and he truly is missed.

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