HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Loved ones are in mourning after Edwin Lee Burgess, Jr., 23, was found dead Wednesday night at a Henrico County apartment complex with what authorities said were apparent gunshot wounds.
According to a release, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Henrico Police responded to the 1600 block of Hope Road, the location of the Hope Village apartments, for a reported shooting. Upon arrival, they said they found an adult male outside one of the residences. The victim was later identified as Burgess, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Longtime family friend Jamah Mills said he was getting ready for bed when he received countless notifications on his phone, telling him that something had happened at the apartment complex. He told 8News Thursday that he didn’t want to believe what he was hearing about Burgess. But once he arrived at the scene and saw first responders covering his friend’s body, he knew the heartbreaking truth.
“I wish I could wake up and it was just a dream,” Mills said. “We always talked about how we would get older, and be old and look at our grandchildren.”
Mills said that Burgess was a father of two 1-year-old daughters.
“I feel like a part of me left when he left,” Mills said. “I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t be there to save him or anything.”
Authorities have not released suspect information. However, scanner audio from first responders at the scene revealed part of the search for the individual or individuals responsible:
We were just approached by an individual around the building of 1701 that apparently was flagged down that the shooter is in this building somewhere, if you can have officers come this way.
Nearby residents told 8News that authorities searched their yards for a suspect or suspects, but were unable to find a perpetrator.
“You kind of just get numb to it sometimes, like, tune it out,” one neighbor said. “It’s a bit concerning for the younger kids and their safety, and the older people that live there and their safety, and just everybody’s safety in general because a bullet has no name on it.”
Mills said he was shocked to hear what had happened to Burgess, and that he couldn’t imagine who would want to hurt the young man.
But Wednesday night’s incident was not the first for the Hope Village apartment complex.
In August, a man was taken to the hospital with critical injuries after a shooting on the same block. In June, Henrico Police launched an investigation into gunfire that hit a parked car at the apartments with a woman inside, sending her to the hospital with injuries from the flying glass. Last August, police found two women with gunshot wounds in the area — one was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, and the other was pronounced dead at the scene.
8News reached out to the Hope Village apartments and Henrico Police for information on what is being done to curb violence in the area. A spokesperson for the complex said that security measures are in place:
The wellbeing of our residents is our top priority, and we encourage anyone who may have information to contact the Henrico Police Department.
According to Henrico Police, there were four calls for service regarding shootings in the 1600 block of Hope Road in 2021, compared to seven so far in 2022.
“Most of us grew up together, riding the same school bus, going to school from elementary to high school, and seeing each other even after graduation,” one resident said. “Some people have fallen by the wayside. Some people didn’t make it to see this far in life. Some people have gone on to do really great things. But I often ask myself, what can be done? More importantly, what can I do to bridge the gap? Because it makes no sense that there is such a great gap or such a great divide in the same community. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not fair.”