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Security tried to 'diffuse the problem' before shooting near Richmond restaurant, DJ says

Patron to city leaders: 'What are you going to do to make these streets safer?'
Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 24, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- A DJ at a Richmond restaurant said security were "trying to diffuse the problem" before a quintuple shooting near The Pitts BBQ Saturday night.

Police were called to the 2200 block of Broad Rock Boulevard around 11:24 p.m. to respond to the shooting. 

"Two adult males were transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, two were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and one male was treated on scene and was not transported to a hospital," a Richmond Police spokesperson wrote in an email. 

Janasee Estep is a patron of The Pitts BBQ off of Broad Rock Blvd, often promoting the restaurant's social events. When she heard news there had been a shooting at a place she calls her second home, she couldn't believe it.

"I'm still in shock," Estep said.

Earl Baskerville, a DJ who helps manage and host social events at the restaurant, said he's worked to create a family-friendly environment at The Pitts.

“It’s really nowhere for them to go, their age group, this is a spot I created or tried to create, to have people 40+ to come to be relaxed," Baskerville said. 

Baskerville said the restaurant was hosting a private party Saturday night, and that he believed several security personnel were among those shot.

“Three security [guards] got shot, trying to diffuse the problem, so it wasn’t like just five patrons at random," Baskerville said. "It was more of trying to diffuse the problem.”

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Police investigate a shooting near Pitts BBQ on Broad Rock Boulevard in South Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

Both Baskerville and Estep said that they never thought the area around the restaurant would feel unsafe. Now they are asking city leaders to do something about violence in the area. 

About a week prior, a Richmond father was killed inside a convenience store off Broad Rock Boulevard.

“For all we know, it could’ve been some strangers just walking down the street. You don’t know what happened. It didn’t necessarily have to happen here," Estep said. "What are you going to do to make these streets safer?" 

Richmond City Councilwoman Reva Trammell, who represents the 8th District, said she arrived on scene after getting calls from her constituents, posting on social media following the incident. 

“I saw people running around, I saw people screaming, I saw the police officers trying to take control of the crowd," Trammell said. "This just breaks my heart. I feel like we're losing our city. We're losing our city." 

When asked what the next steps were, Trammell said: "You know what, I don't know. I sent the video that's on Facebook, I sent it to the Mayor around 2:30 this morning. Not heard nothing. These neighbors, these business owners, they've been calling me."

"I'm disgusted. I'm very, very disgusted. I'm asking again for our Governor Youngkin to help. To help. We need something," she said.

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Police investigate a shooting near Pitts BBQ on Broad Rock Boulevard in South Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

Richmond Police have not announced any arrests, named suspects, nor a motive for this shooting.

Anyone with information was asked to call Detective Ahnstrom 804-646-3913 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-100
Five people were shot near a Richmond restaurant on Saturday night.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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