Parents of slain teen applaud city’s safe exchange zones

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The parents of a teenager shot and killed while trying to sell a phone in Richmond are applauding the city’s new Safe Exchange Zones.

Less than a year ago, on Sept. 17, Joshua Grey was selling his cellphone by a convenience store in Richmond when he was murdered in a robbery attempt gone wrong.

Richmond Police say two men robbed and killed Joshua.

Joshua’s parents, Michael and Diane Grey, believe that if their son had known about the Safe Exchange Zones, he would still be here with them today.

“I would love to take back time and change things and bring my son back,” said Diane Grey. “But I go back to if we can make this public as much as we possibly can to save another family, and a life, then that’s what our goal is at this point.”

‘He was a beautiful child’: Parents reflect on son who was shot, killed

Advocates for change, Josh’s parents were happy to see two official safe exchange zones placed in the city of Richmond.

“To see Richmond City having a space designated in two spots is amazing,” said Michael Grey.

“Had a safe exchange zone been in place on September 17 and had Josh known about that, I would want to believe that Josh would’ve shown up at a safe exchange zone and he would still be here today and we wouldn’t be here having this conversation,” Michael Grey told 8News.

Richmond Police placed the zones at their Second Precinct on Belt Blvd. and their Fourth Precinct on Chamberlayne Avenue for anyone looking to sell or buy things in a well-lit area with 24 hours surveillance.

“While it’s great people go to a public area and things like that, it only takes a second for something to happen,” Diane Grey said. “That’s why we’re trying to convince people to use safe exchange zones.”

RELATED: RPD offers ‘Safe Exchange Zone’ for business transactions

RELATED: ‘I miss him everyday’: Family advocates for safe exchange zones after tragedy

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