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Murder captured on security video outside Petersburg grocery store

Posted at 2:42 PM, Sep 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-02 06:37:09-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Police are investigating the  shooting death of a man found near a Petersburg store. Police responded to reports of a shooting along the 300 block of Mistletoe Street in Petersburg at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to Petersburg Police spokeswoman Esther Hyatt.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found 27-year-old Lawrence Johnson of Petersburg, shot to death just outside the door at Shortt's Grocery.

He died at the scene from a gunshot wound before medical crews arrived.

A police source familiar with the investigation said the murder was captured on surveillance video at the store, and that police expect to name a person of interest in the case soon.

The owner of the store declined to do an interview, or share the surveillance video, but he said he was “in shock.”

Shortt's Grocery

Shortt's Grocery

This is the third murder along Harding Street since April 2014.

A police source told CBS 6 this neighborhood is the most dangerous in the City of Petersburg.

A 25-year-old man was shot and killed on the porch of a home there in April of last year.

And, just up the street is where federal marshals said Alexander Hill killed four people before setting the house in fire.

John Downing, who lives up the street from all of the killings, said nothing has changed since last year's murders and the neighborhood is not any safer.

John Downing

John Downing

“That’s what is here in this city, chaos,” Downing said. “No one has called; no one has come by to say we’re concerned up on the hill, what can we do?”

Downing said he wanted to see the police chief and his officers walking the neighborhood doing more community policing.

“I think the police department needs to get more involved,” Downing said.

Police asked anyone with information about this homicide or any crime in the Petersburg or Dinwiddie County area, call Crime Solvers at 861-1212.