RICHMOND, Va. -- Community leaders, neighbors and relatives gathered in a circle of love Saturday to plead for an end to gun violence in the wake of Tuesday's shooting that killed a mother and her young daughter and left three others wounded in South Richmond.
Gunmen sprayed bullets across a courtyard at the apartment complex Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. outside the Belt Atlantic Apartments, according to police.
"It’s time for us just to come together and make a difference," one local pastor said. "It’s too sad for us to be sitting out in our own neighborhoods and we’re not safe."
Thirty year-old Sharnez Hill and her 3-month-old daughter, Neziah, were killed. A 29-year-old woman, a 15-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old girl were also shot but have been released form the hospital, according to family members.
"People supposed to be dying because of natural causes, we supposed to be burying our parents. We not supposed to be out here burying our kids, our friends. That’s not OK," one young activist said.
Friends of the victims also spoke Saturday.
“For them to do that to them, it’s horrible to me," that friend said. “I love you, I seen you that morning and I love you unconditionally. I’m sorry that this had to happen to you."
As the community tries to heal through unity, family and friends hope real change happens with the help of city leaders.
"We all represent the community, and we are what the community is," Donte McCutchen, a relative of the victims, said. "I would like us to just work together and do things together to provide some alternatives for kids so they can have some alternatives to this violence.”
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.
Anyone information about the case is asked to call Major Crimes Detective Russell at 804-646-7715 or contact Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.