RICHMOND, VA., -- A Richmond homicide detectives called for witnesses to come forward nearly a week after a toddler was shot and killed on the city’s Southside.
Richmond Police Homicide Det. Joseph Fultz is the lead investigator in the Saturday afternoon murder of Sharmar Hill Jr.
The 3-year-old was murdered in Richmond’s Hillside Court neighborhood on Southlawn Avenue while playing outside with his sister.
“We know there was a set up people out there shooting and firing guns in the area,” Fultz explained. “For whatever reason they decided to shoot up the neighborhood where little kids are outside playing in the playground."
The boy’s parents, Shaniqua Allen and Sharmar Hill, Sr., sat down with reporters on Tuesday. The parents and their two children laid out the boy’s favorite toys and clothes.
They said their 14-year-old daughter picked up the injured toddler and rushed him inside.
“I got the call when I was at work,” Allen recalled. “I dropped everything and flew here. When I got there, they told me he was at MCV.”
Det. Fultz has more than 30 years experience with the Richmond Police Department. In 2000, he joined the Major Crimes Unit.
He urged the public to forgo the “snitching code.”
“In a case like this, in a murder and homicide that I’ve been around there’s no such thing as snitching on someone who’s taken a human life,” Fultz stated. “The only way you get crime to stop like this is when the citizens take a stand and come out and point these people out.”
Investigators believe there are witnesses that were outside during the time of the daytime shooting could help identify the gunman.
Police are also investigating a January 31 carjacking that may be related to the fatal shooting. 21-year-old Antonio Harris has been arrested and charged for the carjacking.
Harris has not been charged in relation to the murder. He is in the Richmond Justice Center without bond.
Charles Willis, the executive director of United Communities Against Crime, has scheduled a candlelight prayer vigil for the 1700 block of Southlawn Avenue at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The boy’s homegoing celebration will be held Monday, February 10, at 12:30 p.m. at New Life Deliverance Tabernacle on 900 Decatur Street.
Mayor Levar Stoney’s Office has said he is expected to attend.
If you have information that could help detectives, call Major Crimes Detective J. Fultz at 804-646-3929, Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or submit a tip online at http://www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smart phones may also be used. All three Crime Stoppers methods of contact are anonymous.