Cousin of mother, child killed in shooting says “She was excited to finally be a mom”

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)— Police identify the victims in Tuesday’s deadly shooting at the Belt Atlantic Apartments on Midlothian Turnpike.

Richmond police say the 30-year-old victim is Sharnez Hill. Pastor Donte McCutchen, Hill’s cousin, said Hill died shortly after the incident and her baby Neziah died after being taken to the hospital.

He said Hill went to the Chippenham hospital and Neziah went to VCU Medical Center. Police say a 29-year-old, 15-year-old and 11-year-old were also shot. McCutchen said the 11-year-old is Hill’s niece. The niece was shot in the hand Tuesday.

He describes Hill as a woman who loved her family and was excited to finally be a mother.

“She liked to have a good time,” he said.

McCutchen said Hill was a pretty woman and enjoyed spending time with loved ones.

“Always hype to see us, always excited to just see each other,” he said.

City Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch spoke to neighbors at the apartment complex Wednesday. She said residents are concerned for their safety after the shooting and believe tighter security could have made a difference.

“There are community members here that are hurting,” Lynch said. “I spoke with a community member who said he was ‘utterly traumatized.”

Lynch talked to Hill’s family who said she was a “bright spirit.”

Belt Atlantic apartments residents have complained to property managers for six months about a broken gate at one of the entrances, said Lynch.

She said the maintenance workers have been short-staffed, but residents are keen on who comes in and out of the complex.

Marion Schuller, a neighbor who lives in a home a few feet away from Belt Atlantic Apartments, said she saw a heavy police presence Tuesday.

“This street started looking like I-64 in a traffic jam,” she said.

Schuller said she’s not surprised to hear gun violence occurred so close to her home.

“It is a level of anger that I do not understand, but what I don’t understand most of all is how you resolve that with shooting,” she said.

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