‘An epidemic of gun violence’: Mayor Stoney, Chief Smith address slaying of two children in Richmond


(Photo: Nicole Dantzler/WRIC)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gun violence claimed two more victims in Richmond Friday night, with two children – one 14 and one 9 years old – killed by gunfire on Nine Mile Road near Creighton Court.

Two adults were also injured in the shooting, but are expected to recover.

On Saturday morning, Chief of Richmond Police Gerald Smith said, “This type of act just cannot stand in Richmond.”

According to Smith, the department is forming a task force to tackle gun violence in Richmond by pursuing “perps, repeat offenders and those who pull triggers.”

The task force will start with this case, and hand cases off to state and federal prosecutors when appropriate.

“Although violent crime is going down, and crime is going down, these types of incidents continue to happen, and they cannot continue to happen in Richmond,” Smith said.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney likened shootings in the city to a public health crisis, a comparison that has been echoed by leaders across the commonwealth.

“We have been fighting an epidemic of gun violence in this city for decades, and we have to ask ourselves when does it stop,” Stoney said. “Because at this rate the next person – the next baby, the next child – could be your child.”

The Richmond branch of the NAACP will hold a press conference at the location of the shooting. The branch released a statement saying the mother of the 14 year old killed will be in attendance.

“Violence continues to plague our communities, and enough is enough,” the statement said.

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