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Richmond crime expert predicts a long, dangerous summer

Richmond crime expert predicts a long, dangerous summer
Posted at 11:16 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 23:16:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- After a deadly holiday weekend, experts in Richmond are warning residents that this summer could continue to be dangerous.

Earlier this year, criminologists warned of the rise in violent crime numbers as people began to return to their pre-pandemic activities.

"I have a very strong feeling that it's going to be a very low, hot summer and I think the crime trainings we're going to continue to go in that direction that we've seen this weekend," CBS6 Crime Expert Steve Neal said.

Over Independence Day weekend, at least 13 people were shot, nine fatally, in crimes that have police working around the clock.

"We want to do the best investigation we can do to provide answers to the family," Sgt. Dylan Davenport with the Virginia State Police said.

Neal said that there a number of factors that are likely contributing to this recent crime wave, including public perception of law enforcement, a surge in the number of officers retiring and more typical indicators such as kids being out of school for the summer.

"When you have a large spike in crime, normally what you're going to see is some crime kind of connecting the cases where one small group is committing a large number of crimes, that's typically what you're going to see. But in this case, in this area of Richmond, that doesn't seem to be a pattern that fits that mold," Neal said.

For the time being, investigators say that none of the weekend shootings are connected. However, one commonality is that many of the victims of the shootings were young people.