City leaders address Richmond September homicide numbers

Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 01, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-01 19:06:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Richmond’s September homicide numbers have caught the attention of city leadership.      

"Obviously it's something we're going to have to focus on and figure out why it's happening," Council President Kathy Graziano said.

On Monday, Graziano and others reacted to the fact that eleven people were murdered in Richmond during the month of September, and three of those people were killed this past weekend. 

Those numbers make it the deadliest month in the Richmond Metro area in more than five years.

"It's unfortunate that individuals feel the only way they can handle a situation is with a gun," Bruce Tyler, 1st District Councilman, said.

Several council remembers remarked that also unfortunate was the fact that Richmond has made significant progress over the past several years at reducing violent crime. They fear it will hurt any efforts of downtown revitalization and discourage folks from moving in to the city.

"We need the citizens of Richmond to come forward and help the police put these murders behind us,” Tyler said.

Council members also point out that statistics don’t always tell the whole story.

They claim that while no one deserves to die, the violence seen in these murders has come from targeted attacks.

"A lot of these people who were murdered knew their assailants, this is not some random situation where it's not safe to walk the streets when it is," 2nd District Councilman Charles Samuel said.
It’s clear that both the council and the citizens of Richmond have their work cut out for them.

"If the community is willing to work with the police the people won't feel like they can get away with something like this," Samuels said.