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A rising death toll: 9 killings in Richmond in 11 days

Posted at 11:15 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 18:12:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Nine murders have taken place in Richmond since August 16, and more than 20 since June 1.

A mother Thursday was grieving the loss of her 20-year-old son as well as her husband, who died in a separate killing just six days before.

"I want them to find whoever did this to him,” said Lavon Whitlow.

Her son Jamarea was killed in the parking lot of his apartment complex on Saturday. Crime Insider sources confirm her husband was killed outside an Exxon station in Shockoe Bottom less than a week earlier.

Crime Insider sources say that the two cases are not connected.

“Somebody knows something, whatever it is,” she said. “Just, just say something."

In the East End Thursday afternoon Jamarea's loved ones gathered to say farewell. A tribute to a young man, who had his whole life ahead of him.

"He was all about his family and friends,” said Whitlow. “He was just kind-hearted. He would give the shirt off his back."

With nine killings since mid-August, the shootings in the city have been consistent throughout the summer.

Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith said that something needs to change.

“We, as a city and as a community, need to do things differently. The killings are senseless. Teenagers dying. Fights and arguments ending in murder.When are we, as a city and a community, going to say enough is enough? What will it take?," Smith asked.

"Anytime you have five people gunned down, one of them dies and very few people give us anything to work with. What can we do differently? The Police Department cannot fight this fight alone. When we get there, the deed is done. We are there to solve the crime and try to help pick up the pieces."

"They could do this to someone else,” Whitlow said. “So we don't want no one else to feel the pain we've been feeling since we got the call early Saturday morning. No one wants to feel what we’re going through."

"There’s still a pandemic going on. People are stressed. Tensions can boil over. But taking another person’s life is not the answer," Smith said.