PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Petersburg residents are speaking up about the recent uptick in shootings, and holding community events to bring people together in an effort to stop the violence.
Police identified the latest victim in a series of shootings in the past four days as 32-year-old Jaqaun Reid. Reid was found shot to death inside a car at a Marathon gas station along South Crater Road. The crime scene was found near the intersection of Mars and Jefferson Streets early Monday morning.
This marks the seventh person who was shot in the city since Friday night. Four children are among the number of shooting victims.
Belinda Baugh, the pastor of New Divine Worship Center, said change starts with the residents.
“The streets of Petersburg belongs to the residents not the ones who try to take it as their territory. Don’t belong to you. It belongs to us and we want our streets back,” she said.
Baugh is holding a city-wide peace walk this Saturday at 10 a.m. to bring the community together. The walk will start at Shore Street. Baugh organized this event a few months ago but said with the recent acts of violence, it’s the perfect time to bring the community together as one.
“What is taking place now is beyond what I even imagined,” she said.
Juan Munford, who’s lived in Petersburg all his life, said violence prevention starts within the home.
“Until these people start raising their kids, it’s going to keep going on. They can’t let somebody else raise them. You made that child and you’re letting the streets raise them? It don’t make sense,” he said.
This tops off a violent weekend in the city after officers responded to three different shootings on Friday night.
Jamar Jones, 30, was shot and killed in the first shooting along Fort Mahone Street near South Crater Road.
That same night, police responded to a shooting on Holly Hill Drive, where one man and three children were hurt.
The violence ended –for Friday– after one juvenile boy was shot along Boydton Plank Road and taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Police said they don’t have any suspect information at this time.