RICHMOND, Va. — There were nearly 10 shootings resulting in three deaths in Richmond over the weekend. Now, city leaders are calling for the community to act.
The gun violence continued on Monday when a man drove himself to VCU Medical Center with a life-threatening gunshot wound. Police believe the scene of that shooting was near Hull Street and 14th Street.
"Across the river, you better get prepared,” said Richmond Councilmember Reva Trammell. “It’s not just staying here in the Southside, so don't be over there laughing because it's affecting us. War doesn't stop anywhere. And I got a feeling this summer we are going to be in a war, and it's not just Southside or poor neighborhoods. There are not enough officers and the officers that are there are crucified for doing their jobs."
Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith said one man died after threatening police with a loaded gun on Sunday night.
Smith said the man pointed the gun at police officers, and two officers shot the man outside of a Garber Street home. The chief said it might have been an ambush that backfired.
"The mayor is doing everything he can to curtail violence,” said Councilmember Mike Jones. “I know he is because I’ve seen it. The chief is, too. I also often talk to officers at Second and Third Precincts and they're doing everything they can. We just need neighbors to keep calling in gunfire and suspicious activity and then we’ve got to help our youngsters find productive ways to solve their issues."
Jones and Trammell agree that violent crime in Richmond is a troubling issue. However, it has been difficult to reach a middle ground on a solution to the growing problem.
"We are out here trying to make it,” Jones said. “Folks working two or three jobs, and this is what you want to do? Do your dirt, but don't let it get on me because at that point that's why people want police in their neighborhoods. A majority of my district wants to see the police there stopping this nonsense. Our kids are being traumatized."
"What do we do? I mean what are we supposed to do?” asked Trammell. “I hope Youngkin will look at this and the problems we have in this city along with the attorney general and lieutenant governor."
In the new city budget, the starting pay for officers sits at $51,000 — a salary that is competitive with other counties. However, many wonder if the money will be enough to attract new recruits and keep veteran officers.
There are several organizations in Central Virginia that are working to stop violence in the community:
- Peter Paul - PPDC gives children a safe, consistent, structured, and loving environment in which to thrive, where staff and volunteers establish long-term relationships of trust and support for the children and their families.
- Communities in Schools
- Exquisite Community Solutions
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