Church Hill neighbors upset about city’s latest murder

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-27 18:23:58-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--They've had enough of the crime in their neighborhood and some Church Hill neighbors say they're praying for a speedy arrest in a fatal shooting that happened at 27th and Q Streets Sunday night.

CBS 6 News met a woman who has lived in that area for more than twenty-five years. It is a community she loves.

"I raised my children here so I know it's a good community with good people. Nobody deserves to die like that " Miss Sadie explained.

She's talking about the latest murder in her neighborhood just yards away from her home.

It also happened two blocks from Richmond's First Police Precinct. When she found out about the shooting, it hit Miss Sadie pretty hard.

"I started calling around and somebody told me that it was Smurf, " she added. She explained to us that she knew the victim since he was a toddler.

She never thought he'd end up dying in front of her home. Like others, Miss Sadie is frustrated with the crime and hopes that someone will give police information to solve this for the victim's family.

She pointed out that the victim's mother lives just one block away from where he died. A small patch of flowers planted by the victim's girlfriend and another neighbor marks the spot where he fell.

Friends and neighbors tell CBS 6 News the victim they call "Smurf" is Robert Bowman, Jr.

Police, however, have not confirmed the victim's name. Miss Sadie and one of the victim's former employers tell us he had some run-ins with the law in the past. They say they were encouraged recently to see "Smurf" working to get on the right path.

"I don't care what his past was or what he did, he didn't deserve to die like this," Sadie said.

She is anxious for police to solve this crime. It's the second deadly shooting in that immediate area in the past six months or so. It's the fourth Richmond homicide in just a week.

Though she's had enough of the crime, Miss Sadie says it's not enough to run her away from the neighborhood she loves.She made it clear, "I raised my children here. There are good people here and I"m not going anywhere. "

Richmond Police detectives are in the early stages of their investigation. If anyone has information that can help them solve this crime, they're urged to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.