Spate of gun violence leaves Petersburg residents on edge: 'Scared for my life'

Spate of shootings in Petersburg, Virginia
Posted at 5:39 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 18:01:38-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Recent violence in Petersburg has left many citizens fearful to be living in the historic city.

"I am scared for my life," a 65-year-old Petersburg resident said.

Amid the rise in violence, another incident on Thursday night left her even more on edge.

"Gunshots went off, full fire down Wythe Street, made me jump down out of my bed and scream. I had to get in a hallway to make sure nothing else came through there and hit me," she said. "It goes to show you the amount of fear in our community right now and rightfully so."

She is not alone in her anxiety after the recent spate of gun violence.

"Bullets ain't got no name when they get to flying. Innocent people get hit," another concerned resident said.

Out of caution, the Petersburg resident said he chooses not to go out after dark.

"I'm going to be a victim of circumstance and I don't want to be that. So I'd just rather stay home," he said.

"No one wants to be a victim of a stray bullet."

Lamont Hanks, a Petersburg restaurant owner, also has fears and concerns amid recent violence.

"I am worried because some of the kids don't know exactly what they are doing," Hanks said.

Like many others, he doesn't know what it will take to stop the gun violence.

"I don't know what done got into them but we got to get a grip on it because the Blacks are killing the Blacks," Hanks said.

Pastor Belinda Baugh said she often hears why people say they are afraid to live in Petersburg.

"These are babies, 15, 16-years-old that have guns in their hands. It's a little bit more alarming," Baugh said.

A recent social media post that is threatening shootings along Crater Road is adding to the anxiety of residents.

"So there's a lot of stuff that's going on. I don't believe any of that."

While police investigate shootings and murders, this social media post has now been added to their list.

"At this point, we haven't found anything other than someone that's deliberately trying to put that out there to induce some type of fear in our community."

Pastor Baugh said there will be a peace walk beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The walk will start at Shore and Sycamore Street.

While some say walks don't do anything to resolve the issues, Baugh is quick to point out that you don't get any response when you stay at home and do nothing.



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