‘So horrendous’: VCU students react to two deadly shootings near campus, one fellow student killed

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Commonwealth University community is feeling unsettled after back-to-back shootings killed two young men in the same street block near campus.

Tuesday, Richmond Police revealed that one of the victims was a VCU student.

“It’s just not a safe feeling to think anyone could just get shot or killed,” Freshman John Carmel told 8News.

Sunday evening around 6 p.m., an unidentified 17-year-old male was shot and killed in the 400 block of Gilmer Street. Police said they believe marijuana was somehow involved in the shooting.

About 24 hours later, another young man was approached and shot dead in the same block of Gilmer Street. RPD identified him Tuesday as 20-year-old VCU Student Cody Woodson.

“Anytime someone loses a life so young, it’s so disheartening and just so horrendous, you wonder ‘why?’,” Carmel said.

Police are investigating to determine if the two shootings are related.

Many students who 8News Reporter Laura Perrot spoke to at Monroe Park Tuesday afternoon, like Zuri Washington, had heard about the shootings. “It’s dangerous man, it’s the city,” Washington said.

The university sent the following email to students regarding the death of Woodson, sending “thoughts and prayers to Cody’s family and friend during this difficult time of great loss.”

VCU Police has increased patrols in the Carver neighborhood where the shootings happened, according to the university.

“I first heard about it through the email and then just being out here at the park, people are talking about it like, ‘Oh, did you hear what happened?’,” Washington explained.

The pair of tragic incidents hits close to home with many.

“It’s scary because I’m 19, he was 20, the other guy was 17. We’re young, we’re fresh out of high school or ready to finish high school and we can’t even step into our career without getting shot or getting some type of harm put on us,” said Washington.

In an alert sent out on Sunday, VCU said a suspect was in custody for the shooting death of the unidentified 17-year-old. However, RPD said on Tuesday that no suspects have been charged in either incident.

VCU said a suspect in the shooting death of Woodson was last seen running west away from the scene.

Police said they are investigating leads. 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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