Police hunt for Northside murder suspect

Posted at 11:05 PM, May 22, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-22 23:52:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Richmond Police say they are chasing down leads and increasing patrols on the city’s Northside.

Sources told CBS 6 News' Jon Burkett  that Antoine Saunders, a father of two, was gunned down Tuesday in retaliation for a fight he had last week, when he broke his arm over another man’s face.

Some residents point out Brookland Park Boulevard has seen more than its share of violence. [RELATED: Man shot dead near Richmond high school]

"It's getting worse if you ask me," said Willie Hilliard, the Brookland Park Boulevard Neighborhood Association President. “[It’s] more and more blatant. As you can see, they are shooting each other in broad daylight."

The area was roped off yet again with crime tape Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm very disappointed,” said Pastor Larry Miles, who’s part of the Richmond Police Faith Initiative Group. “Kids are in and out of school, all up and down this street."

Religious leaders say they’ve met with Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood about problems in the area, but add, just preaching about the bloodshed apparently isn’t good enough.

“They have no regard for people, the residents, the city,” said Miles. “Total disregard. We have to put something in place to stop it. It can be done."

Police tell us Saunders was standing at the corner of Barton Avenue and Brookland Park Boulevard when a gunman ran up to him. Witnesses say they heard at least seven shots.

Police sources tell Saunders had dropped off his kids shortly before the shooting. They say he was well-known by his nickname “Tuck” in the neighborhood.

“We see these guys out here every day,” said Hilliard. “All the same faces."

With his body lying on the ground, the cast on Saunders’ arm was clearly visible. Sources say it’s a clue that provides the motive for the murder.

Multiple sources say Saunders was in a fist fight last week and broke his arm over another man’s face. His killing was the result of retaliation.

“We want revitalization in this area, but everyone is scared,” said Hilliard . “You can't blame them. From the outside looking in, it's awful."

Police say they will ramp up patrols on the Northside for the foreseeable future.