20-year-old VCU student and 17-year-old identified as Gilmer Street shooting victims

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police identified the two victims killed in back-to-back shootings this week as a teenager and a 20-year-old VCU student.

On Tuesday, Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith gave an update on the fatal shootings that terrified some residents in the Carver neighborhood, which is near Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park Campus.

“Over the last couple days the 400 block of Gilmer Street has been the location of two violent incidents,” Chief Smith said. “These incidents coming on the heels of each other has caused us some concern.”

The first shooting took place on Easter Sunday. RPD said they received a report of a shooting in the 400 block of Gilmer Street at 6:40 p.m. When officers arrived, they found one victim dead at the scene.

Chief Smith said the victim of Sunday’s shooting is a 17-year-old male and his identity will not be released.

Details of what happened to the minor are very limited, though Smith said police believe marijuana was somehow involved in the first slaying. “Drugs are definitely a factor,” the chief said.

Officers with RPD told 8News that it’s too early to classify the investigation as a homicide. Despite VCU announcing there was a suspect in custody on Sunday, Chief Smith said no one has been charged in either incident. Investigators are also still working to determine motives.

On Monday, April 5, there was a second shooting on the same street. VCU police said a man “was approached” and shot around 8:12 p.m. RPD said once on the scene, they located an unresponsive man on the sidewalk and he was pronounced dead. A suspect was last seen running west.

Chief Smith identified the victim of Monday’s shooting as 20-year-old Cody Woodson. He was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

VCU Student, 20-year-old Cody Woodson has been identified as the victim of Monday night’s shooting. (Photo shared with 8News by Woodson’s girlfriend with permission from the family)

An unidentified neighbor 8News spoke with said she and her boyfriend heard six to eight gunshots directly outside of their window. She said they ran upstairs to take shelter and saw a body laying outside on the sidewalk.

“He [her boyfriend] ran outside to see if he could help or anything but he could tell when he got there that he was gone,” she said.

Detectives said it is too early to know if the two fatal shootings are related. However, RPD said they are looking into any connections between the two incidents and if there is a possible “drug nexus.”

Chief Smith said investigators do not currently believe drugs were a factor in Woodson’s death.

“Because they happened on the heels of each other, one day after another, on the same block number, that gives us some concern,” Chief Smith said. “We can not eliminate any possibility at this time.”

He said VCU Police is helping with the investigation and going forward, that area will see a higher police presence.

“As Chief Smith said we are working in conjunction with Richmond Police Department on the investigation,” said Nicole Dailey, VCU’s Assistant Chief of Police.

Smith said community help will be key in helping solve these crimes and has already aided detectives in their investigations.

“Anyone who has any information about either incident, we will gladly take it,” the chief said.

Scared neighbors have been caught in the thick of the deadly shooting streak in the Carver neighborhood.

“Two shootings, two fatal shootings, two nights in a row, literally two doors down from me on both sides, I don’t feel safe,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified.

RPD asks that anyone with information about the shooting call Major Crimes Detective A. Sleem at (804) 814-7123 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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