RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Those who knew Xavier Brown describe him as ‘full of energy,’ and said he was always trying to perfect his craft.

The 23-year-old had made a name for himself in the Richmond area as an up-and-coming chef at several restaurants. He had also launched his own private cooking business, where he catered and delivered homemade meals to the community.

Friends and family say Brown was on the verge of elevating his culinary career when senseless gunfire turned all of his potential into ‘could’ve beens.’

Around 2 a.m. Saturday morning, someone shot Brown to death in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom area. Police pronounced him dead on the scene.

“He was really a good kid,” said Antonio Henderson, a Richmond chef who knew Brown well. “His energy was very easy to talk to and get along with. It just shocked me to see what happened to him. Everybody is hurt right now. Friends and family are just in shock right now.” 

Henderson said he had just been in a restaurant with Brown when he got a text that someone shot and killed him.

Two days later, the news still feels surreal.

“It’s sad how everything happened so fast,” Henderson said. “We had just hired him at a new restaurant and now he’s gone.”

According to police, the shooting happened in the 1500 block of East Main Street near Main Street Station. On Sunday, a memorial had formed in honor of the 23-year-old in a parking lot near the area.

At last check, police had not released any suspect information; however, Henderson believes Brown may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Everybody knew him,” he said. “Nobody could say anything negative about him. It’s just really sad.” 

So far this year, there have been 26 homicides in Richmond. This is up one compared to this time last year, which broke the record for the worst year for homicides in more than 15 years.

In May of 2021, Mayor Levar Stoney declared gun violence a public health crisis, vowing to allocate millions of dollars for prevention.

In the meantime, this Richmond community continues to mourn Brown’s life, all while promising to keep his legacy alive.

“I’m proud of him… I’m proud of him… and he definitely impacted a lot of people,” Henderson said.