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Gun violence spikes in Richmond, two homicides last week

on November 11, 2014

A wave of gun violence in Richmond and North Richmond killed two people – including a 16-year-old boy – and left seven others injured in shootings spread across six different locations.

The spate of violence has prompted police to increase patrols and community leaders to schedule a peace rally at City Hall for Wednesday evening.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the Richmond Police Department ascribed the flare-up to multiple factors.

“The motivation for the street level violence varies greatly,” the statement read.  “Interpersonal conflicts, turf conflict between rival gang members, and some unintended targets are all a factor in the latest spike.”

Richmond police couldn’t yet say if the incidents are related, but said they’re responding with increased patrols.

“Obviously these are active investigations. […] We have beat officers doing directive patrol and spending extra time in the areas where the shootings happen, contacting the people they see there,” said Sgt. Nicole Abetkov.

Directive patrol means beat-officers patrolling their assigned districts.

The violence was set off on Election Day, when four teenagers were shot and wounded in two separate incidents. A run down of the incidents:

·      A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg on the 2800 block of McBryde Ave. on Nov. 4. Moments later three 16-year olds, two boys and one girl, were hit in a drive-by on the 1600 block on Visalia Avenue.

·      On Friday, Rodney Frazier Jr., 16, was shot on the 300 block of Market St. in North Richmond, and pronounced dead at the scene when police responded around 9:20 p.m.

·      At 10 p.m. Friday, police responded to an incident on 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in the Iron Triangle, where a car had crashed into a parked vehicle after being struck by gunfire. The driver, Charles Jackson Jr., 29, was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman also in the vehicle was sent to hospital and treated for minor injuries.

·      On at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, a man was shot in the area of Don Way and Harrison Drive in Parchester Village. The man is expected to survive according to police.

·      A few hours later, around 10 p.m. Saturday, a man was shot in the area of 13th Street and Costa Avenue. He was taken to hospital, treated for injuries and later released.

Otheree Christian, president of the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, said more support was necessary for young people in Richmond.

“This is the norm for them,” Christian said of the violence. “We have to change the norm and get them back to into school. […] If we don’t address the issue of guns, we’re gonna continue to have this problem.”

Christian also said that the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council will stage a summit to deal with the issue of gun violence.

RPD Chief Chris Magnus tweeted on Saturday in response to Friday’s shootings.

Operation Ceasefire is a collaborative program where police, faith leaders, and community organizations do outreach work to individuals most likely to be involved in shooting incidents.

A peace rally will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the Civic Center Plaza.


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