Community members fed up with violence in Hopewell aim to be ‘part of the solution’

The Tri-Cities

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — In the days since Richmond Fire Department Lt. Ashley Berry’s death, a number of violent crimes have taken place in Hopewell.

There was an armed home invasion last week on Old Iron Road and on Thursday a man was shot in the leg on 15th Street.

The city’s homicide rate has more than quadrupled since 2017. Lt. Berry’s killing sparked an outcry from community members who say they’ve had enough.

Billy Hamilton owns a business on 15th Street, an area that has witnessed violent crime multiple times.

“We gotta do something to save this little city,” Hamilton said.

City Councilman Johnny Partin also spoke with 8News on Thursday about his concerns with the city’s violent crime.

“It’s awful,” Partin said. “It’s awful that people would be acting this way. We’ve got to have people coming forward and telling us information.”

Local pastor Michael Moore says his church, Beacon Hill Church, is ready to get involved.

“We’re gonna be holding a prayer meeting and working with others, but not just praying,” Moore said. “We’re going out and being part of the solution. We’re bringing hope to Hopewell so don’t give up on Hopewell.”

Partin also said police is reevaluating their needs.

“This is something the police chief is looking into right now.. Do we need to increase our staffing with police officers.”

The Hopewell Police Department will hold a news conference Friday to address the city’s recent violence.

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