Man killed outside Whole Foods 'loved his kids and worked hard,' friends say

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Posted at 10:01 PM, Sep 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-07 05:42:10-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A 30-year-old man is dead after he was shot in the head Saturday evening outside a Whole Foods in Short Pump.

Crime Insider sources tell CBS 6's Jon Burkett that the shooting of the victim, Julian McClenny, was a random attack.

McClenny died at VCU Medical Center early Wednesday morning.

Two suspects allegedly involved in the shooting, 33-year-old Deontae Winston and 35-year-old Katoya Brown, have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Friends of McClenny say it's hard to find the words to describe the void they will now forever feel without him.

"Anytime we needed him, he was always there," McClenny's former colleague, Shavon Mayo said.

McClenny, a father, loved sports, but his children were his world.

"He was into sports, he loved his kids, he worked hard - had like two or three jobs at a time," Mayo said.

McClenny died three days after he was shot in the Whole Foods parking lot. Sources say he was leaving the store when suspects Brown and Winston pulled up in a minivan and attempted small talk. They were also possibly asking for money.

Words were exchanged, and then gunfire followed.

Police say Brown and Winston, both from Crewe, fled the scene after the shooting. They were arrested two days later and initially charged with malicious wounding and a firearm charge.

After McClenny died Wednesday morning, the charges were upgraded to second-degree murder.

Criminal defense attorney Ed Riley says the location of the shooting could be used in the case against them.

"I would think they are there because it's reasonable to believe people in the West End have more means - the West End tends to be a wealthier section sure, and it'll be a part of the Commonwealth's case in demonstrating why they are," Riley said.

Both Brown and Winston claim the same home address in Crewe, according to a Crime Insider source.

Brown has a history of traffic violations, while Winston has an extensive criminal history - including weapons charges, drugs, and three child abuse with serious injury charges.

The child abuse charges were all nolle prossed, or prosecutors voluntarily ended the criminal case before it went to trial in Henrico General District Court in April 2021.

"Just because you don't expect something to happen, if you rob a bank or part of a crew that goes to rob a bank but you all agree no guns or violence, you're still just using that as a scare tactic," Riley said.

"But a co-defendant pulls the trigger and kill someone - you're just as guilty of felony murder - you're still a participant even though you didn't know or expect that to happen."

McClenny was originally from the Wakefield area, with family in Franklin and North Carolina.

Mayo says he knew something was wrong when McClenny never reached out about a Labor Day meetup they previously scheduled.

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

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