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Troubling trend of gun violence involving teens in Metro Richmond

2 adults found dead in Henrico apartment
Posted at 11:17 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 23:18:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A young mom and her infant killed; a mother of three shot inside her apartment in Chester; a pair of teens in Henrico found shot to death inside a third-floor apartment.

Those are all recent headlines that highlight gun violence involving young people.

White index cards marked shell casings that littered a parking lot at the Colonial Ridge apartment complex in Chester Monday night.

Inside, a mother in her 20's was with her three small children when a bullet came through the window and grazed her head.

"She told me she was shot in her head. She wasn't sure how bad, but blood was dripping everywhere," said her sister.

A bystander captured video of the suspects running from a traffic stop, although Chesterfield police eventually captured two juveniles and a man in his late teens. They have been charged with reckless shooting.

"90% of residents have nothing to do with this and are good, hard-working people that are trying to live their lives,” said Joe Dombroski, a retired agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration. “And when you see this happen, there's no way to stop it unless you go in and use the tools that were used for many years to clean up various neighborhoods. These are the theories that we used in the '90s and early 2000s to clean up Richmond."

Dombrowski says he’s surprised with Central Virginians' faulty short-term memory.

With reports of daily shootings and killings, he says it’s mind-boggling that federal laws aimed at getting weapons and drugs off the street that are still on the books are not being used.

“Federal law enforcement can't do it alone,” Dombrowski said. “State and local can't do it alone. We formed many task forces and worked as teams, and targeted areas. These poor people were being victimized and we went in and started taking out the worst drug dealers and shooters to get them off the streets so we could bring the neighborhoods back."

At a West End apartment Tuesday night, visible holes in a man's second-floor ceiling were evidence of the shooting deaths of a man and woman living above, according to Crime Insider sources.

Danny Thompson says it's by God’s grace that he and his son had already left to get gas, as bullets came through his ceiling.

“It's a laughable thing, but there used to be honor among thieves,” Thompson said. “I mean, even dating back to the mafia. No innocent citizens were injured in their turf wars or fights. It was people involved with a crime: they had a code and you didn't go outside of it. Now there's no regard. It happens again and again. It's almost like a video game."

Crime Insider sources say gun violence involving teens and young adults is slightly up in Metro Richmond.

It’s a statistic some in law enforcement fear will explode in the warm summer months ahead.