RICHMOND, Va. — Two people were killed and three others were injured after a gunman opened fire at a group outside a Virginia apartment complex Tuesday night, authorities said.
All of the victims at the complex, located in Richmond, are female and include a 3-month-old child, two adults and two teenagers aged 14 and 15, WRIC reported. One of the adults later died at an area hospital, police said.
Update 12:24 a.m. EDT April 29: The 30-year-old woman killed in Tuesday’s shooting was identified as Sharnez Hill. the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Her 3-month daughter, Neziah Hill, also died in the shooting, the newspaper reported.
“They were just outside playing, taking advantage of the weather,” Rev. Donte McCutchen, pastor of Love Cathedral Community Church, told the Times-Dispatch. “This is what’s making it so sad right now. All she wanted to do was have a baby and be a mother, and finally she gets to be a mother -- and this happens.”
Update 12:14 p.m. EDT April 28: A 30-year-old mother and her 3-month-old daughter died in Tuesday’s shooting outside the Belt Atlantic apartments, Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith said at a news conference Wednesday morning.
A 29-year-old woman, a 15-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old girl were also injured in the shooting, WTVR reported. Smith said the three people injured were in stable condition. Their names have not been released.
“These are all females who were there outside with everyone else enjoying the weather in a large courtyard,” Smith said. “At this time, we do not believe that they were the target of these shootings. They could very well be considered innocent bystanders, doing what most of us did as much as we could yesterday, which was get outside and enjoy the weather.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said gun violence in the city was “a true epidemic.”
“Someone’s missing a child today, a family member today, a relative today,” Stoney said during the news conference. “I really do believe it could have been avoided. Now there are Richmonders left to pick up the pieces. Again, this happens far too many times in the city. It’s a true epidemic. And it is certainly a public health crisis when it comes to gun violence in the city.”
Original report: According to Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith, the gunman opened fire on the group at about 6:30 p.m. EDT before another person returned fire, WWBT reported.
“It’s just a heinous act that baffles the mind as to why anyone would do this in a quad full of children just out enjoying themselves,” Smith told reporters.
The infant is in serious condition, Smith added.
“One of the hardest things to say is one was a 3-month-old at the time they were shot,” Smith said. “The 3-month-old is in serious condition at this time.”
Smith said the shooter remains at large and asked for help in finding that person, WWBT reported.
“Someone knows who did this act. They know,” Smith told reporters. “There’s too many people out there, too many eyes, too many connections for people who live here not to know who did this.”
Cox Media Group