RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond’s homicide rate reached last year’s total number with an early morning double homicide Friday, Sept. 2.
Officers responded to a call at 7: 15 a.m. for a traffic accident in the 1000 block of Ridgecliff Drive. When they arrived they found two shooting victims in a black, four-door Nissan, according to police on the scene.
The victims have been identified as Travis L. Carrington, 36, of the 3200 block of Fifth Avenue, and Rodney D. Smith, 40, 5500 block Pony Farm Drive in Henrico County.
Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said their deaths bring the homicide count to 41.
Richmond police know the community is fed up.
"I'm beginning to be like an old broken record that's repeating myself over and over," Durham said. "I think the community is fed up, we as a city are fed up."
South Richmond residents agree.
"We really need to stop,” said resident Shet Arab, who lives in the neighborhood with his mother. “Tighten up and put the guns down .”
A few hours after police responded to the double homicide, they held the Fugitives and Firearms Imitative with Virginia State Police. Their joint mission is to take illegal guns off the street.
"Bad persons with guns drive violent crime in Richmond; homicides, shootings and armed robberies," Durham said.
"We are doing the very best we can to address and curtail," he added. "But I want to be perfectly clear, a police officer, if I had one on every corner, could not stop a homicide if someone is hell bent on committing a crime and hurting someone else."
Durham is proud of the 558 guns that have been recovered, but said more work needs to be done.
He also stressed the importance of contacting police if you know of anything related to a crime.
He asked the community, if they know someone living a certain lifestyle and exhibiting violence, to reach out to police to help hold people accountable, and said that a certain lifestyle tends to breed violence that drives such crime statistics.
"Turn them in, it’s as simple as that,” Durham said. “That’s a life you can save, that’s another individual’s life you can save outside of your family."
“It starts in the home and then it starts in the community and then in the churches,”
The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death of Friday's homicide victims.
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. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip.
Richmond has a Gun 250 reward program where neighbors can text info anonymously to help officers find and confiscate illegal-owned guns. You may be eligible for a $250 reward. If you know where illegal guns may be stashed and want them off of the streets you can participate in Gun 250 by texting 274-637 anonymously.