RICHMOND, Va. -- While Richmond Police swarmed Gilpin Court to investigate a fatal Wednesday afternoon shooting, two officers turned their attention to children playing near the tragic scene. Officers Kenneth Peterson and Aaron Grayson are part of the Richmond Police Fugitives and Firearms Initiative. Their jobs entail engaging with the community. After responding to Wednesday's fatal shooting, the officers approached a group of children at a playground a few dozen feet away from the crime scene in an effort to turn their attention away from the violence.
"One of them was a young, little female who had just received a new sundress for the summer," Officer Peterson said. "She wanted myself and Officer Grayson to see her new sundress. In addition to complimenting her beautiful dress, her brother showed up with his bicycle, with his chain unhooked."
It was then the officers transitioned from protect to serve.
"He was telling me how he can ride without his training wheels and then his chain popped off," Officer Grayson said. "He looked at me and he goes ‘I don’t know how to fix this.’ So I said, ‘I’m going to help you.'”
Officer Grayson then knelt down and put the chain back on the bike.
"It seemed like the right thing to do," Officer Grayson said.
"One thing we like to preserve with children is their innocence and the purity that comes along with that," Officer Peterson said. "We can't control everything that happens in the neighborhood at a certain particular point in time... but we also want to reinforce and encourage the good things about policing and also the good things about being a citizen in the community."
The officers said their job is as much about community policing as it is finding fugitives and illegal firearms.
"A lot of times in communities where there is a lot of crime, kids only get to see police on the negative side of things," Officer Grayson said. "It’s always good, when you can, to give them the positive, to help them, to talk to them, to let them know you’re a person too and if they need help, they can come to you."
Police continue to investigate Wednesday's fatal shooting of 34-year-old Dante L. Suber. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Major Crimes Detective Anthony Coates at 804-646-0729 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.