Security guard killed at work in Richmond double shooting

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A double shooting in Richmond’s Northside leaves one person dead and another hurt. 8News has learned that the victim was working security at Thirst Bistro & Bar when the crime occurred.

Close friends and co-workers have identified the man killed as Shevan Rochester, a security guard who had a passion for keeping people safe and died doing just that. Richmond Police confirmed Rochester, 32, as the person killed in a release on Wednesday. The Medical Examiner’s Officer is determining an official cause of death.

Rochester had worked security for years throughout Richmond, standing guard at numerous events, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Ashely Arties also works security and says she and Rochester have been close for years, sharing that he was affectionately known as “Von” or “Jamacia'” The nickname is now etched in purple chalk in front of the place where he took his last breath.

“Why him? I mean he’s such a great all-around guy, a family guy,” Arties said.

The 32-year-old father was gunned down early Sunday morning while on the job. Richmond Police said they were called to the establishment for a shooting around 4:30 a.m.

Rochester died from his injuries and another person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 8News visited the scene on Monday afternoon and the glass door had nine bullet holes and crews were inside cleaning up.

Friends and family are mourning the sudden loss of Rochester, who they called a gentle giant.

“He’s going to be missed by a lot of people,” Arties said. “Sometimes when he’s getting off work or up late, I’ll be strolling on Facebook and see his light on. I’ll send him a message. He always reply back. We be joking and laughing. I could really talk to him.”

8News spoke to Rochester’s mother, Dionne, on Monday. She said she is “functioning” and that’s the best she can do. Dionne said she has a 5-year-old granddaughter to care for, a son and her mother. She also said that she was extremely proud of her son for creating his own security company called Top Flight.

Thirst Bistro & Bar posted a tribute to the fallen security guard on social media, reading in part, “We did not lose an employee, we lost a member of our family. Shevan was a genuine person who had a smile that was contagious.”

Rochester’s mother said she has been in contact with an owner and they’re planning to hold a vigil at the establishment on Northumberland Avenue soon.

It’s still unclear if Thirst Bistro & Bar was open for business when shots rang out. According to Virginia ABC, the location has had an active wine, beer and mixed drink license since June of 2020 and has received three complaints. A spokesperson said two of the complaints were related to COVID-19 violations and one was for selling alcohol to an underage person.

Virginia ABC says, per protocol, they are investigating and have a 48-hour window to determine if the establishment causes a threat to public safety. If they find that to be the case, they could issue a temporary license suspension.

Meanwhile, Richmond Police have not released any information about arrests or suspects. If you know anything about the shooting call RPD or Crime Stoppers at 804-646-6733.

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