A legacy of trouble: Another homicide at the Henrico Legacy Inn

Posted at 12:29 AM, May 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-10 16:20:44-04

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR)--When Henrico investigators were called to the Legacy Inn near the Richmond International Airport at 1:10 a.m. Thursday for the homicide of a 32-year-old man, it was far from the first time police had rushed to the rambling, single-story hotel.

There have been hundreds of 911 calls at the old, 3.7-acre, 120-unit complex, frequently used by transients paying $200 a week or less.

There were 188 total calls for service for the last two years, from May 8, 2011 to May 9, 2013.

They were as follows:

  • 35 were disorderly drunk calls
  • 29 suspicious situation calls
  • 15 domestic calls
  • 13 medical emergency calls

Mary Ferrell has been living in a room at the Legacy for seven years and remembers those days.

“It used to be very dangerous here,” she recalled. “You didn’t even want to come out of your door at nighttime. You didn’t know what was going on, when you’re going to be shot, stabbed or who was standing outside your door.”

Adam Higgins lives in the neighborhood right behind the inn and remembers those days all too well.

“You heard a lot of cursing over there.,” he recalled, “A lot of screaming. Bad screaming. A lot of fights.”

Six years ago, a family visiting from Shenandoah saw their father shot to death outside of room 131 there during a robbery.

Twelve years ago, and Englishman died of a heart attack during a fight there.

One of the East Coasts busiest bank robbers – the  so-called Band-Aid Bandit-  was arrested while holed up at the Legacy in 2000.

The rash of violence and problems a decade ago led to a crackdown there. Some residents, like Higgins, were calling for the inn to be shut down.

But things have quieted somewhat since then.

“It’s been a long time since something like that happened,” said longtime resident Ferrell. “Now, it just isn’t like that anymore. Very seldom is there any violence.  I think they have gotten stricter here.” And the police presence has certainly been ramped up, she said.

Neighbor Higgins agrees, to a point. “You still hear the occasional fight break out over there, but it has gotten a little better.”

He’s not surprised there’s been another slaying there. He’s got a young daughter and just wishes the place would be closed down.

Megan Steward and her family  lived there last summer during hard times. She said it was filthy. “Horrible! The police were always on patrol there. There was always something going on, so I’m not surprised that something like that happened.”

Another current resident at the Legacy says she feels like she must stay indoors a lot of the time. “It’s a lot going on,” she said. “I see police. I see people in and out.”

Henrico police have released few details about the 32-year-old man found shot to death there early Thursday morning.

CBS-6 requested an interview with the Legacy Inn’s management. We waited there Thursday afternoon but didn’t hear back.