RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police arrested three people, so far, in the fatal shooting of Sharnez Hill and her infant daughter Neziah.
Hill, 30, and Neziah were two of five people shot at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday outside the Belt Atlantic apartments on Midlothian Turnpike in South Richmond.
Gunmen sprayed bullets across a courtyard at the apartment complex.
A 29-year-old woman, a 15-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old girl were injured in the shooting and now considered to be in stable condition, Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith.
"These are all females who were there outside with everyone else enjoying the weather in a large courtyard," Chief Smith said."We know that there was a group of perpetrators who began shooting. That first group of perpetrators, we believe are the ones who actually struck these five innocent victims. And there was another group, another side that actually returned fire. At this point in time, we don't believe they actually struck anybody. But what you have is, if you've been to that area, the way that that area is set up, there are courtyards out there, and they were shooting across those courtyards."
On Wednesday afternoon, police announced the arrests of three people believe to be involved in the shooting.
Donald Hemmings, 22, Shyheem Martin, 23, and Shamondrick Perry, 19, were all charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Additional charges are pending, according to police.
"Detectives are still trying to determine if other persons were involved in the shootings and are asking the public for information," a Richmond Police spokesperson wrote in an email.
Hill's cousin and family spokesman Pastor Donte McCutchen found himself asking why something like this would happen?
"While I understand my family members were not the target, they are the victims," he said. "I need answers Lord. I need to know what's going on."
McCutchen said most of his family members had yet to meet Hill's baby because of concerns during the pandemic.
"She was excited to be a mother," he recalled. "All she wanted to have a child and she finally had a baby."
The pastor urged anyone involved in their murders to turn themselves in.
"The only hope we have is that these people are caught and that justice is served," McCutchen stated.
Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch, who represents the apartment complex located in the 5th District, said the shooting occurred during a 1-year-old's birthday party.
"Folks are scared to go outside. They’re scared to check their mail," Lynch told CBS 6 after speaking with residents. "We are fighting not a war against crime, we are fighting a war on poverty and trauma. We need caring adults and fund community programs and get caring adults around these kids."
Lynch said there's a great need for mentors and strong men to model the way for the community.
"Hurt people hurt people and we have heal our trauma and give people equal opportunity to rise out of poverty," she explained.
Anyone information was asked to call Major Crimes Detective Russell at (804) 646-7715 or contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.