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Girl shot in West End neighborhood dies; witness heard at least 5 shots

Football game canceled; school on lockdown
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Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 23:59:06-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The girl shot in a West End neighborhood near a high school has died of her injuries, police said late Friday.

Henrico Police responded to a report of shooting in the 1900 block of Windingridge Drive, which parallels Pump Road, in the Gayton Forest West subdivision around 4:30 p.m.

"A teenage female was shot outside of a residence," Henrico Police spokesperson Lt. Matt Pecka said. "The female victim was treated and transported to an area hospital."

Police said officers are investigating the incident as a homicide after the girl succumbed to her injuries.

The child's name is being withheld due to her age, police said.

"This is still an active investigation," police said. "There will be an increased police presence throughout the community.”

Suspect considered armed

Police described the suspect as a younger black male, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 125 pounds. He had shaggy hair with shaved sides.

Pecka said he was last seen wearing a two-toned hooded sweatshirt and a mask.

The suspect, who is considered armed, was "heading on foot," according to police.

Witness heard at least 5 shots

A witness told Crime Insider Jon Burkett two girls who were walking down a path behind Mills Godwin High School were followed closely by a guy wearing a hoodie.

"When they rounded the curve here behind me, that witness says he heard at least five shots and then they saw the guy walk off,"
Burkett said. "They thought it was strange, so they went over to investigate."

That is where the witness saw the girl lying in the driveway in front of an SUV, Burkett said.

"[The witness] ran up to help and give CPR and they did that until paramedics arrived here on scene," Burkett said.

In a home just yards from the crime scene, a neighbor also told CBS 6 she heard about five to eight shots.

"I just don’t know what’s going on with our world right now. It’s really heartbreaking," said neighbor, Meagan Cinder.

Holding tight to her baby, Cinder recounted the moments she heard the shots fired in her neighborhood.

"There were some yard guys down the street yelling, 'gunman, gunman' so I was just screaming for my husband to hurry home."

Cinder said her thoughts immediately flashed to her husband and son who were riding their bikes just up the street at Godwin High School

"My son was crying because he was scared. You just don’t think that’s going to happen out here," said Cinder.

For Cinder, the unanswered questions surrounding the shooting left her on edge.

"If they had no cause or relation to those girls it could’ve been my husband or my son," said Cinder. "It’s just heartbreaking that this would happen there’s a ton of kids in our neighborhood so all we can do is just pray for their families."

Football game canceled; reverse 911 calls sent

Police said a football game scheduled at Godwin High was canceled and that the school was on lockdown in the wake of the shooting.

A long line of cars formed outside of Godwin High School Friday evening, as
parents reunited with their children.

"Henrico Police, School Services Unit and HCPS personnel continued to work into the early evening hours to successfully complete the student/family reunification process which has been completed," Pecka said in an email around 9:30 p.m.

Additionally, officials said the county sent a reverse 911 call to residents describing the incident and alerting them that the suspect is at large.

Police later sent another reverse 911 call stating, “Henrico Police remain in the early stages of a homicide investigation which occurred at 4:30 pm along Hickoryridge Road."

Pecka said the investigation into the case remains active and officers are seeking the public's help.

Anyone with information is urged to call Henrico Police at 804-501-5000, Crime Stoppers 804-780-1000, or on your smartphone device via p3tips.com.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip. If you see breaking news, and can do so safely, shoot a photo or video and send it to CBS 6. You can also upload photos to our Facebook page or email pics@wtvr.com from your phone.