Friends want answers as police investigate deaths of 2 Richmond men

Richmond

Richmond men involved in crash ‘appear to have been shot,’ police said Wednesday

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — More questions than answers remain following a crash in Richmond early Wednesday morning.

Police told 8News that all three men involved in a crash on Forest Hill Avenue at Bland Street “appear to have been shot.” Two people were killed. Police later identified the deceased as 24-year-old Cinque Johnson and 24-year-old Larry Branch, Jr. Both were from Richmond. A third person, Chapelle Paige, is clinging to life in the hospital, according to family members.

Police say the occupied vehicle had crashed through a guardrail and plummeted down into a creek. Officers were initially called to the crash site in response to reports of random gunfire.

RELATED: Richmond Police say men involved in crash ‘appear to have been shot’

On Thursday, friends of the victims visited the roadside memorial on Forest Hill Avenue to pay their respects.

“I’m really just still shocked,” said Kidajah Johnson, who went to school with Johnson and Branch. “It’s hard to process.”

Johnson told 8News she remembers her former schoolmate as a jokester.

“In school, Cinque was a joke. Not a joke, but he was funny, he was always, it was good energy,” she said. “I didn’t talk to Larry that much in school, but his sisters, I knew his sisters.”

Corneilus Lablah also visited the roadside memorial Thursday. He told 8News he grew up with Johnson and Branch and said they were loved by many.

A roadside memorial for the two victims, who police say, were apparently shot prior to a crash on Forest Hill Avenue early Wednesday morning. (Photo: Laura Perrot)

“Cinque was well known, like if you in Richmond, you know Cinque,” Lablah said. “He was very well known and Larry, too, was well known.”

The question still haunting many, however, is why all three men in the car were apparently shot.

“I just hope, whoever the investigators are, that they get to the bottom of it because if anything, we want to know what happened,” Johnson said.

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