RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith revealed the city's first-quarter crime trends in 2022 on Thursday afternoon.
Even though some violence categories are on the decline, community activists say more work still needs to be done.
So far in 2022, the city of Richmond has seen 17 murders. The number is down a few from this time last year but activists say they hope intervention will help to keep them ahead of the curve.
"I was a part of that life and I changed my life and everybody that sees me on the news knows I'm real. I'm trying to get the message out to everyone that we have to stop this. Through schools, the churches or whatever, we need to be trying to get control of this before it gets out of hand," Irvin Scott, an anti-gun violence activist, said.
Those in the community say what is out of hand is the number of people who have been shot in Richmond. As of Friday afternoon, 69 people have been shot so far in 2022.
Smith said it appears that Richmond is following a nationwide trend when it comes to the motive.
"Disputes are driving this. People are reaching for guns and other things to solve those disputes and not just talking things out," Smith said.
On Saturday, there will be an anti-violence rally at the Railroad Employees Club at 2306 Chamberlayne Avenue.
The rally starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.
Organizers have told attendees to bring an appetite, not a weapon, to the event.
"To help the ones who don't understand what it is to love and what it is to connect and fellowship and think about things other than shooting each other," Scott said.