RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A torrent of gun violence over six days leaving six people dead, and at least four others injured, raises questions about when it will end and by what means.
Less than 12 hours after a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in Southside Thursday, a man was hit with a fatal bullet outside a convenience store near Gilpin Court early Friday morning.
A city seemingly under fire, as five of the six dead were 21 years of age and under.
“It’s all over this city,” City Councilwoman Reva Trammell told 8News Friday.
After Police Chief Gerald Smith plead with the public to assist with easing tensions among young people, Trammell said, “they don’t talk it out, they don’t work it out. Shooting or stabbing somebody or beating somebody up, that’s not the answer.”
Trammell, chair of the city council public safety committee, said she is worried violence could keep up if police are not supported, and staffing issues are addressed.
“We need to bring back community policing…” Trammell said “…we need to see more support for our police officers out here.”
Lives lost this week: a 17-year-boy old Sunday, a 20-year-old VCU student Monday, a 21-year-old woman Tuesday, an 18-year-old Henrico County high school student Wednesday, a 15-year-old boy Thursday and another man Friday morning.
Two men, one girl and one boy were also shot this week, but they are expected to recover from their injuries.
Thursday, Chief Smith asked residents to aid where they can, while addressing reporters after the fifth death investigation was launched.
“What can we do for the summer? These kids have been inside for over a year, and they are restless and it’s starting to show. I think that it’s just the responsibility of the city, and the community and society to come together to find something that we can do to help these kids,” Smith said.
Following the rising death toll this week, Mayor Levar Stoney took to Twitter, saying “we will do all we can to bring the perpetrators to justice, and gun violence is “a crisis we must confront head on, boldly addressing the root causes…”.
Stoney did not expand how he, and his administration plans to tackle gun violence. His team did not respond to 8News’ request for comment, and an interview.
As of Friday night, police had not announced any charges in connection to any of the fatal shootings.