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August in Richmond begins with nine reports of gunfire and three people dead
Richmond

August in Richmond begins with nine reports of gunfire and three people dead

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Nine shootings. Three people dead. Six injured.

The first 24 hours of August were punctuated by the sound of gunshots across Richmond’s North Side and East End.

One incident involved a bicycle drive-by. In two others, people shot at moving cars — one carrying two women and three children who narrowly escaped injury, police said.

The wave of gun violence that began around 1 a.m. Thursday appears to be not only the most shootings in a 24-hour period this year, but also the deadliest.

The body of Dominic Christian, 33, of the 2500 block of Ford Avenue, was found lying in the roadway in the 1100 block of North 25th Street at 12:58 a.m. Friday .

Olajuwon Akeem Elleby, 34, of the 2200 block of Redd Street, and Jammie Lee Walker, 39, of the 3000 block of Chamberlayne Avenue, were both found dead at 2:30 a.m. Thursday in a parking lot near Walker’s residence.

All three had been shot, as were six others, though not fatally, in the shootings that police say aren’t connected. Two people suffered life-threatening wounds.

“At this point, none of the shootings appear to be related due to the variety of weapons used,” police said in a statement Friday afternoon.

In two of the nine reports of gunfire, no one was injured and police don’t technically count them as shootings.

On Thursday evening, two woman and three children were unharmed when their car was shot at, causing it to crash in the 1900 block of Redd Street. Police categorized this incident as shooting into an occupied vehicle, so it wouldn’t show up in the city’s shootings statistics, according to a department spokesman.

Early Thursday morning, the preschool center attached to Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School on Mosby Street was vandalized.

A BB-type gun was used to shoot out 22 windows in the building. It’s the 10th incident of vandalism to the school, prompting the Richmond Branch NAACP to call for a community meeting.

“This is unacceptable and we need to come together as a community to have a discussion on how we can develop an action plan to avoid this from happening again,” a statement from the NAACP read.

A town hall meeting the group is calling “What About the Children” is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the middle school, 1000 Mosby St. The group will also hold a news conference there at 11 a.m. Monday.

The rash of shootings in the opening hours of August has put Richmond on track to quickly surpass the number of people shot and killed during this month last year. In August 2018, 32 people were shot. Seven of them were killed, according to figures from police data that include two days from the end of July and the start of September last year.

So far this year, Richmond has already outpaced the total number of people killed at this point last year — 37 people in 2019 compared with 33 in 2018 — and has far exceeded the number of people injured in shootings — 135 people shot compared with 92.

While the start of August has been hectic for Richmond police, the department said its officers have good leads in several cases and expect quick arrests in at least two.

Here is a timeline of the shootings:

Thursday

  • A teen accidentally shot himself at

1:12 a.m.

  • in the 2300 block of Bethel Street.
  • At

1:13 a.m.

  • , a pickup truck crashed into the end of a guardrail in the 1200 block of St. Paul Street after shots were fired into the vehicle, striking a passenger in the leg.
  • At

2:30 a.m.

  • , Olajuwon Akeem Elleby and Jammie Lee Walker were found dead in a parking lot near Walker’s residence in the 3000 block of Chamberlayne Avenue.
  • At

4:13 a.m.

  • , a man was shot multiple times during an attempted robbery in the 500 block of Hunt Avenue.
  • Around

5:12 a.m.

  • , a BB-type gun was used to shoot out several windows at Martin Luther King Jr. Preschool Center.
  • At

7:59 p.m.

  • , a woman suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound while standing with friends in the 1400 block of North 22nd Street. Witnesses said a man riding a BMX-style bicycle shot into the crowd, police said. The shooter was described as a dark-skinned black man with short hair, wearing a black shirt and stonewashed jeans, and carrying a backpack. Police said they recovered a weapon and cartridge casings.
  • At

9:29 p.m.

  • , police responded to the 1900 block of Redd Street, where a car had crashed into a parked vehicle after a report of gunfire. The driver had already fled the scene by the time police arrived.

Police determined that in the 2100 block of Accommodation Street, a person shot into a vehicle carrying two women and three children. To escape, the driver turned onto the 1900 block of Redd Street, where the vehicle crashed. None of the occupants was struck by gunfire or injured in the crash.

Responding officers located the driver. An arrest is expected shortly, police said.

Friday

  • At

12:42 a.m.

  • , a man suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound was found in the 1400 block of Rogers Street.
  • At

12:58 a.m.

  • , Dominic Christian was found dead lying in the roadway in the 1100 block of North 25th Street. Police said another man injured in the same shooting was found at a hospital.

arockett@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6527

Twitter: @AliRockettRTD

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