RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A death investigation is underway in Richmond after a teenager was shot and killed Thursday afternoon.

According to Richmond Police, the 17-year-old was found in the area of Jennie Scher Road. Police were called there after 4:40 p.m.

They say he was close to his 18th birthday.

The killing marks the first of a juvenile in Richmond this year as police are increasingly concerned about young people being caught up in gun violence.

Police Chief Gerald Smith said he hopes Thursday’s killing is not an indicator of what could come.

“We hope it’s the last one,” he told reporters, adding “we’re doing what we can to try and talk to some of our confidential informants to see what we can find out.”

According to the most recent crime data from Richmond police, published Sunday, six people were shot dead by this time last year, compared to two in 2022. The teen’s death marks the third this year.

On Feb. 3, Mayor Levar Stoney and Smith shared a plant to combat gun violence, including “violence interrupters;” people with life experience in areas where gun violence has been concentrated.

The pair’s plan–similar to tactics seen in other U.S. cities–calls for paying these “interrupters” in order to help police connect with those communities, and find leads into investigations.

Two weeks after that announcement Smith said there has been plenty of interest, but no hires. 

“We have the official HR [human resources] process to go through…” “…We’ll be putting a little pressure on HR, and I know that they are doing the best that they can do get this done,” Smith said.

 “We have high hopes for it that it will actually be able to interrupt some of the violence that we are seeing out here.”

Anyone with information about Thursday’s shooting is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.