Richmond murder a challenge for investigators

Posted at 10:48 PM, Aug 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-14 23:31:03-04

Richmond, Va. (WTVR)—A day of violence and gunfire in Richmond on Monday, with five separate shootings, left one dead and now police face challenges in arresting the potential killer.

“He was lying on his back, his face up. His head turned to the left” said a resident at Southwood Apartments as he described the dead body of 37-year-old Lorenzo Milliam. Police said Milliam had been shot in the head Monday night.

“He was killed right behind my house,” said the resident who did not want to be identified.

Police said Milliam was steps away from his front door when he was gunned down.

Police said the motive is unknown, and for loved ones, Milliam’s death is puzzling.

Luis Elias, Milliam’s cousin, told CBS 6 he feels badly because his cousin had no enemies.

“He liked to drink beer. Nothing else,” said Elias, who only speaks Spanish.

“He was a good person. He didn`t bother nobody,” said Marcia Estrada Reyes, a friend of Miliam’s.

She said the last time she saw him was Sunday, one day before Milliam was murdered.

“And I said, 'Hi Lorenzo! Today is your lucky day’. And, I gave him a bunch of hugs and kisses,” she said.

That affection has now turned into support for Milliam’s family. Reyes has set up donation boxes at convenient stores, hoping to raise enough money to send Milliam’s body home to Guatemala.

Today, Richmond Police officers canvassed the apartment complex for clues.

“The uniformed officers are deployed, we`re going to keep the area safe and we`re going to work hard to find out who did this,” said Captain Emmett Williams with the Richmond Police Department.

Their challenge is that majority of Hispanics who live at Southwood Apartments are Hispanic, many of them afraid to talk for fear of being deported. But, Captain Williams is trying to assure Hispanic residents they are there only to investigate a murder.

Williams said police will soon distribute a bilingual flyer to residents with a picture of the picture on it, in the hopes someone saw the shooter.