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FBI statistics show alarming rise in homicides with Richmond leading the way

FBI statistics show alarming rise in murder cases with Richmond leading the way
Posted at 11:15 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 23:39:39-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The FBI says the nation's murder rate was up 30% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Central Virginia is on track to break last year's totals in some cities. In fact, Richmond already has.

A father of five, 38-year-old Rishard Watkins was a devoted family man. He was shot dead on Coalter Street on Sunday afternoon.

He was homicide victim number 59 of the year.

"I say to these young boys, ‘put the guns down,'" said Denise Ferguson, whose son was not only shot but also run over. “You want to pick up something? Pick up a bible!"

Watkins is the latest murder victim in a city that's been under siege from gun violence.

Digging deeper into the issue, CBS6 found out that Richmond has scored two slots in the top five statewide for homicides. As of now, the city sits at number 1 for 2021 so far. Its 2nd precinct, the Southside, is tied with Henrico for fifth with 19 homicides.

All of Richmond has nearly doubled the death toll in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News, totaling more than 50 homicides so far.

"Losing a child is the hardest pill to swallow,” said Ferguson. “No mother should have to bury their child. It should be the other way around."

Crime Insider sources tell me detectives have doubts that he was the intended target.

Ferguson blames the city's youth, and that matches FBI data that shows the number of young offenders is also on the rise.

"Not only have I been hurt, but when caught, whoever did this to my child, they'll hurt their mom,” Ferguson said. “So it is two families affected."