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Melissa Sousa, left, and Shelby Ferguson sit by a makeshift memorial in La Moine Valley View Park where their friend Eric Brown of Richmond was fatally shot on October 10, 2016. Photo by Lauren Schwartzman.

Friends mourn loss of Eric Brown as police arrest suspects

on October 14, 2016

The shouts of playing children rang out on a sunny afternoon in La Moine Valley View Park on the Richmond-El Sobrante border earlier this week. Melissa Sousa and Shelby Ferguson sat in the grass by a makeshift memorial marking the spot where their friend of seven years, 21-year-old Eric Brown of Richmond, was fatally shot on Monday night.

“It’s so sad to be sitting here and knowing everyone else goes on, but he doesn’t,” said Ferguson as she gazed out at the park.

At around 10:50 p.m. on Monday, Richmond Police responded to calls about shots fired at the park.

Lieutenant Felix Tan of the Richmond Police said in a statement released Tuesday that officers found two victims suffering gunshot wounds: Brown, who died at the scene, and a 19-year-old male from Rodeo, who Tan said is recovering from wounds to his lower extremities.

On Tuesday, Richmond Police arrested three suspects in connection with the shooting, all young men from Richmond and San Pablo, said Tan in a separate statement released Thursday.

The investigation revealed that this was “an isolated incident” and “a case of a narcotics transaction gone awry,” said Tan, adding that all three suspects were charged with murder and robbery.

Brown’s death is the 22nd homicide of the year in Richmond, surpassing last year’s total of 21.

At the park, Sousa, who attended middle school with Brown, described him as a joyful, caring person. “He could walk into a room and just light the whole room up,” she said. “If you ever needed somebody to talk to, he would always be there.”

Yards away from the swing set and jungle gym, mourners had piled flowers around a lamp post and placed candles that spelled out “RIP ERIC ♥” on the pathway.

“Even if they find the person who did it,” said Ferguson, “even if there’s justice, it doesn’t bring him back.”

Tan said the police department is “extremely proud” of the detectives and officers who identified the suspects.

“We hope that these arrests bring some closure and comfort to Eric Brown’s family,” he said.


  1. Shelby Ferguson on October 14, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you Lauren Swartzman for your kind words and understanding during this difficult time. You were very kind.

  2. John Spartan on October 14, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Drug deal gone bad….killed while engaging in illegal activity. That says enough…..

    • Diana grant on October 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Shut the fuck up you don’t know SHIT but what the media allows you to fuckin know so next time you open your mouth know what the fuck your talkin about

    • Andrea on October 15, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Nobody deserves to be shot to death. Please have a heart and show compassion for a young man taken from family and friends who love him. He had his whole life in front if him and it was taken away from him. Be blessed.

    • Tamara on October 28, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      I vote that your comments be removed JOHN SPARTAN. Your obviously I sad excuse of a person. Thank you for yet,
      another stupid comment. Everyone who ever knew this person hopes,
      that you choke on your insightfull words.

  3. Kathy Hobbs-Bueno on October 16, 2016 at 2:42 am

    I’m sick of hearing Black Lives matter!! WHITE LIVES MATTER ERIC BROWN’S LIFE MATTERED!! Examples should be made of these 3 heartless cowards !!! you 3 took the life of Eric Brown he was 21years old he was a SON,BROTHER,NEPHEW,GRANDSON,UNCLE,BOYFRIEND AND FRIEND.He was an Amazing Kid with his whole life still ahead of him,he was so sweet,soft spoken,he had a Big heart and loved and cared deeply for his family and friends.Eric WASN’T a Kid that ran the streets he stuck close to Home.I feel blessed in knowing Eric I will miss his sweet adorable smile. My Prayers are with each and every one of you.I Love You All With every bit of my heart.God Bless

    • Lawanua on October 28, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      What does “BLACK LIVES MATTER” have to do with this article????? Express your sympathy and be done.

  4. Shelby Ferguson on October 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    ERIC BROWN WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SOUL. I can’t even begin to tell all of you just how much I will miss him. How much darker and colder this world is without him and how life will never be the same!!!! He worked hard. In his job and every aspect of life! Yes he was a son, brother, cousin, friend,grandson, nephew, a genuine person who had his life taken away! He wasn’t a gang banger he didn’t run the streets. He loved everyone and everyone felt the exact same towards him. I lost my best friend! Joe and Jenny lost their son. How dare anyone say that he deserved it or brought it upon himself. No one deserves that, and especially not Eric Brown. Who will be loved dearly and missed more than anyone will ever know. Rest in Paradise my love I think about you everyday

  5. Peggy aguirre on October 24, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I don’t even know where to begin nor can I express the hurt and pain and how deeply my heart is broken ,Jenny and Joe have been more like family to me even before My baby Eric was even born that young man has always been a part of my life ,and yes he was a very caring and loving young man never caused a problem ever from a baby to the young man he turned out to be ,and I dare anyone to make uncalled for or rude or bad comments on him if you don’t know him or knew him then keep your comments to your self my heart goes out and my prayers to the family and friends that really knew him cause only us knew the sweet person he was his smile his big heart ,oh Eric my baby auntie Peggy will forever miss you and love you till I see you in the heavens RIP😅 our angle in the sky ERIC BROWN✝✝✝✝🙏🙏🙏👼

  6. AuVi on October 26, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I have saved every single article that has to do with you. I’ve reread the story a million times still not grasping that your not here. It has been 17 days and I still cry from just looking at picture of you. By far the most humble , hard working , sweetest person I’ve ever met not to mention our birthdays are a day apart..You will forever hold a special place in my heart. ❤️ I hope your watching down right now ! I miss you ! Rest In Peace love

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