Highland Park neighbors fed up with spike in shootings: 'This is becoming constant'

Poster image - 2024-06-19T214348.788.jpg
Posted at 10:24 PM, Jun 19, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- Not alarm clocks, but a hail of gunfire is what awakened some living on 3rd Avenue in Richmond Wednesday morning.

People living in Highland Park say what is even more troubling is that the chaos has become consistent over the past month.

"This is not just a one-off this is becoming constant," Elizabeth Donnolly said.

Highland Park neighbors Donnolly and Larry Mason have had a bird's eye view of the violence that has recently been erupting on their street in broad daylight.

Poster image - 2024-06-19T214348.788.jpg
Elizabeth Donnolly and Larry Mason

"There are some really big issues going on here and they involve safety for everybody. No matter where you come from or what your story is," Donnolly said.

She says the crime has shown up in many forms.

"It's about gangs, guns, hookers, it's about drugs. It's about all the things that are so blasé right now at this point in our society."

Neighbors are saying the increasing amount of gunfire recently has triggered them to reach out by phone and email to the city council and the mayor. So far, the only response has come from Richmond Chief of Police Rick Edwards.

"I've written multiple letters to the city council with no response. I've written the mayor with no response," Donnolly said. "I met the police chief, who is very gracious with his time. I also have good communication with the 4th Precinct but yet we can't get anything resolved."

Poster image - 2024-06-19T214437.129.jpg
Elizabeth Donnolly

She believes one thing that will help the issue is police showing more of a patrol presence in the neighborhood.

"They have a very complicated job. No one wants them there until they need them but here's the thing - the police need to get out of their cars and start patrolling," Donnolly said. "We need them to be active and they need to be involved in a different way than what they're doing and I personally don't believe it has anything to do with numbers."

“Numbers” refers to a police officer shortage. The Richmond Police Department is still in the red with a lack of over 100 officers.

People living in Highland Park are growing more and more restless over a lack of response.

“You can clearly see the guy running down the street shooting backward while his getaway car was backing up for him. I'd say a good 20 to 25 shots going off," Mason said.

Poster image - 2024-06-19T214726.022.jpg

"All well timed, planned. My husband and I were in bed and I literally said 'Don't move,'" Donnolly said.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

SHARE on social media to SPREAD the WORD!

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.