RICHMOND, Va. -- Mark Whitfield says that the decision to give his nine-year-old daughter Markiya Dickson a few more minutes to play at Carter Jones Park with her friend on Memorial Day is a decision he'll regret for the rest of his life.
Dickson was shot to death when a group of people started shooting while she was playing in the Richmond park. Police have yet to make any arrests.
At the same time, gun thefts are rising across the area. Hall Precision and Gunsmithing store in Spotsylvania County has been robbed two times in just three months.
"That same gun you're selling, it can come back and kill you, your family member, look at my little girl," Whitfield said. "These are being handed to people who are not supposed to possess them and they are being used according to our experience in violent crimes almost immediately."
Crime Insider sources say the latest thief came from the roof on August 3rd, and another man seen in surveillance video scoped the place out a day later. C-I sources say the casing suspect looks similar to the break-in suspect from May.
"That's a lot of guns out here on the streets that we can't even put a trace on," Whitfield said. "A lot of illegal guns out here being taken out of stores and being used on the streets and my daughter could've lost her life to one of them,” Whitfield said. “He'll never know."
The Sunday, when Markiya was killed in that South Richmond park, haunts him as he waits for news that her killer has finally been caught.
"It's like someone has taken my heart and put it in a blender and keeps hittin’ the button,” he said. “There's a lot of people in this city experiencing heartache and pain and losing their loved ones out here."