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Hopewell, Petersburg communities left reeling string of shootings

Posted at 11:26 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 10:49:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The past five days in Petersburg and Hopewell have been horrific with nine people shot, including five teenagers.

Micah Coles, just 14 years old, was the middle child in a family with seven other siblings. The teen was with a few friends on late Friday night.

The group was walking along train tracks to the store when his sister said the killers started to shoot.

"They ambushed them, that's all I know. A few of the younger kids are traumatized at the moment," Coles' sister said.

Coles and Jasir Culver died along the train tracks near South 21st Avenue.

The other two teens are expected to recover.

Cole's mom is finding the grief of losing her son almost unbearable.

"She's taking it day by day so far. Just surrounded by family, so that's been good for her. For the most part, we've all been hanging around, trying to be there for one another," Coles' sister said.

The quadruple shooting and double murder on Friday was followed by a double shooting, then a single murder in Petersburg on Saturday, then a shooting in Hopewell on Sunday and then a double murder early Monday.

Petersburg also had a 16-year-old who was shot multiple times early Tuesday morning.

The Hopewell and Petersburg cases do not appear to be connected.

"Yes, it is concerning that we've had two double homicides in recent days. But again, we will continue to move forward and continue to strengthen our relationship with our community," Hopewell Police Chief A.J. Starke said.

A small community is left reeling with concern as families cope with young lives lost.

Starke offered a warning for those who are killing in his city.

"The people that are responsible - we want you to know, if you're watching this video, we are not going to stop until we bring you to justice," Starke said.

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

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