Violence cut short the lives of 56 people in the city of Richmond last year.
That number is down from 78 in 2017, a nearly 30 percent decrease. But as former Police Chief Alfred Durham has often said, any life lost is one too many.
"Our main focus is to bring meaning to every life lost to a homicide in our city," Durham said at a recent holiday vigil for the families of homicide victims. "You, the family, deserve your loved one's life to mean something to everyone. To us, they're not just a number. They are a person. A person that you love. A person who lost their life to a violent act. We look for motives, not judgments."
Those left behind — mothers, fathers, siblings and even children — hold tight to the memories of their loved ones and struggle to move forward.
"They just don't know what they did to our family," said Ashley Orange, whose cousin Antoine R. Orange was gunned down Dec. 17. "A big loss. We going to get through it because we family."
Relatives held a vigil three days before Christmas to say their goodbyes.
Orange took a deep breath to hold back the emotion from her voice that showed on her face, and made this wish: "I ain't trying to lose nobody else."
These are the men, women and children killed in 2018:
Davon R. Daniels, 30, was found suffering from a gunshot wound about 11:20 a.m. Jan. 2 in the 1300 block of Coalter Street in the Oliver Crossing Apartments. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Devrick R. Gail, 29, is facing first-degree murder and gun charges in Daniels' death. He's slated to go to trial in March.
Gail was released from federal prison on Dec. 1, 2017, just a month before Daniel’s death. While incarcerated in 2014, Gail wrote a letter seeking mental health treatment and saying he was "a detrimental threat to society."
Javon I. Patron, 23, was shot to death about 1 a.m. on Jan. 6 in the 1600 block of Rosecrest Avenue in Hillside Court. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A man turned himself in to police about a month after the shooting, but the charges involving Patron's death were dropped over the summer.
Early Jan. 7, just after midnight, police found two shooting victims inside a black Nissan sedan in the 2400 block of Warwick Avenue in South Richmond.
Garry Harrison Jr., 28, was pronounced dead at the scene. The second victim, a woman, was taken to a hospital, where she was treated for life-threatening injuries. She recovered.
Jaquail V. Braxton is charged in both the deaths of Harrison and Jon Alston, who was also a suspect in Harrison's death. Harry E. Braxton and Calvin C. Cooper were also charged in this case. Charges were dropped against two others.
Thomas E. Bradley III, 24, of North Chesterfield, was found at 12:39 a.m. Jan. 18 outside a home in the 200 block of Larne Avenue.
He was taken to a hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his right leg — his femoral artery had been struck. He died later that afternoon.
Two men were charged with the killing; charges against one were later dropped. Christopher Lassenberry pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter saying he had intended to fight Bradley that night, but named another man, who has never been charged, as the shooter.
Lassenberry was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Randy L. Jones, 61, was shot and killed inside his home in the 1800 block of Gordon Avenue. His body was discovered about 4 p.m. on Jan. 18.
Henrico County resident Lashaunda T. Meekins, 42, pleaded guilty in October to voluntary manslaughter after first being charged with first-degree murder. She is set to be sentenced in February.
Around 9:16 p.m. on Jan. 20, Richmond officers received a call for a person down in the 300 block of Grey Birch Drive. When police arrived, they found 25-year-old Aaron L. Cosby, who was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been shot.
Police are still investigating Crosby's death, which they have not classified as a homicide.
Jaleel S. Yates, 18, died at a local hospital after he was shot at 11:42 p.m. March 1 in the 3500 block of Clydewood Drive, the same block in which he lived.
No arrests have been made in the case.
Shortly before 10:50 a.m. on March 2, Winfred W. Steward, 25, was shot inside a Gilpin Court apartment in the 1100 block of St. Paul Street. Steward, who went by the nickname "Winky," did not live there.
He was transported to a hospital, where he died a short time later.
The body of Jon W. Alston, a 42-year-old Chesterfield County resident, was found in a wooded area off Jefferson Davis Highway on March 6. He had been shot.
Workers clearing brush from power lines found Alston’s body on the 2100 block of Lumpkin Avenue about 6:30 a.m.
Police said Alston had been reported missing and was a suspect in the Jan. 7 shooting death of Garry Harrison Jr., who was shot and killed in a car less than a mile from where Alston's body was found.
Jaquail V. Braxton is charged in both the deaths of Harrison and Alston.
He leaves behind a wife and four kids, according to his obituary.
D’Marcus Hooper, 17, was found March 7 suffering from a gunshot wound to the head in the driver's seat of an SUV that had crashed into another vehicle in the 1900 block of Raven Street in Mosby Court.
Officers followed a trail of blood leading away from the vehicle and found a second teenager who had been shot in the jaw and arm.
Both were taken to VCU Medical Center, where Hooper later died from his injuries. The second teen underwent two surgeries and has recovered, but ultimately lost most of the vision in his left eye.
In December, De-Jore Cook, who is 18 but was 17 at the time, pleaded to the second-degree murder of Hooper and malicious wounding of the other boy, along with two gun charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced in March.
De’emoni Parson, another teen charged in the shooting, goes to trial in February.
Cook was contacted about buying a gun the day of the shooting. Hooper, a friend of the seller, drove his friend to Mosby where they planned to show the gun to Cook. But Cook and Parson pulled out guns themselves and fired, according to prosecutors, though Cook denied discharging his weapon.
Timothy Vest, 33, was one of three men shot about 1:09 a.m. March 14 at the CandyBar, a gentlemen’s club in the 3900 block of Hull Street Road.
Police found Vest and another man injured in the parking lot. They were taken to a local hospital, where Vest died. The second man’s injury was not considered life-threatening, police said.
A third man later drove himself to a hospital. His injury was not fatal.
Darrell K. Daniel, 30, of the 3400 block of Johnson Road in Mineral, faces murder, aggravated malicious shooting, malicious wounding and three gun charges. He goes to trial in January.
Richmond police said they received several tips identifying Daniel after media broadcast footage from the club. Daniel turned himself in to the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office about a month after the shooting.
Brandon W. Ruffin, 29, was shot and killed midday March 25 outside a Subway restaurant in downtown Richmond. He died at the hospital.
A Virginia Commonwealth University police officer was across the street at the department's headquarters when the shot was fired, and chased down a man at the scene.
In October, a jury found Brian M. Tyler, 36, of Powhatan, guilty of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in a felony. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
At 7:35 p.m. on March 25, Damon L. Tucker, 48, of Henrico, was found shot to death in the 1100 block of North 29th Street in Church Hill.
Brittany L. Garrett, 27, and Michael C. Robinson, 60, each face charges of first-degree murder, robbery and a pair of gun counts. They are awaiting trial.
Latifah A. Hudnall turned 18 just three weeks before she was shot on March 31 by a friend, who claimed it was an accident, at close range outside of a grocery store in the 4900 block of Government Road in Fulton Hill.
She died in her friend's arms.
"She was at peace," said friend Maya Criss. "I made sure she knew she was loved by everybody before she left."
Hudnall and Criss had picked up Terrence T. Whitmire, 17, who asked the girls to buy him cigarettes in the store. When Hundall returned to the car, where Whitmire was waiting, she didn’t hand over all of the spare change. Hudnall’s friend said Whitmire "jokingly" pulled a gun, pointed it at Hudnall’s chest and demanded the money.
He told police he didn’t think the gun was loaded because it was so light. But when he pulled the trigger, it fired.
In November, Whitmire was sentenced to nine years in prison after earlier pleading no contest to involuntary manslaughter, reckless handling of a firearm and shooting in an occupied vehicle. Judge C.N. Jenkins Jr. took into account that he’s a juvenile and ordered him into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice before prison.
Family called Hudnall, an aspiring cosmetologist, "Tifah," and friends called her "Queen."
At Whitmire's sentencing, her sister Kayana Brown told the judge: "She was a star, one that shined extremely bright. But on March 31, 2018, her light was dimmed."
Malcolm T. Alexander, 35, was found on April 21 dead in the 300 block of Melmark Court, where he lived. He had been shot.
Johnny R. Battle was brutally beaten and knocked from his wheelchair in the backyard of his home in the 3100 block of Decatur Street the afternoon of April 28.
He died three days later.
The retired welder, known as "Mr. Johnny" around the South Richmond neighborhood where he lived for 40 years, was 80.
His daughter, one of four children, said as her father got older and lost the strength in his legs, he would sit on the porch and talk to people as they walked by. He was also a classic car enthusiast and had two parked in front of his home, which he used to connect with passersby.
"He had a heart of gold," said one of his eight grandchildren, Dwavon Battle.
Police charged Michael Kevin McReynolds, 43, of Chesterfield County, first with aggravated malicious wounding, and then murder after Battle died from his injures.
Witnesses said McReynolds attacked Battle and another man without provocation. Police said he knocked 62-year-old Melton Leon Tucker unconscious before fleeing on his motorcycle, then found Battle in the backyard of his home half a mile away.
Reynolds heads to trial in March.
Lorenzo L. Dinkins, 26, was found suffering from a gunshot just after midnight on May 2 in the 2200 block of Creighton Road in Creighton Court. Upon arrival, responding officers found Dinkins unresponsive in a grassy area.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sixty-one-year-old Geraldine R. Tillery answered a knock at her door in the 2300 block of Concord Avenue around 11:15 p.m. May 5.
Instead of a friendly face, she was greeted with gunfire.
An unknown person dressed in black shot her, police said, then fled in a vehicle west on Concord toward Jefferson Davis Highway, about two blocks away.
Tillery died 16 days later.
Just before 2 a.m. on May 11, Richmond officers found Russell J. Long, 22, in the roadway along the 3100 block of Alvis Avenue in North Richmond. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
A few days later, police arrested Octavis Green, 17, and Nicholas L. Thomas, 20. They are both awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder, robbery and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Desiree S. Fletcher, 21, was found around 10 p.m. May 11 in an alley in the 2400 block of Peter Paul Boulevard. She had been shot.
A high school biology teacher and recent Virginia Commonwealth University graduate, Marcus-David L. Peters, 24, was shot twice by Richmond police officer Michael Nyantakyi at 5:37 p.m. on May 14.
Peters was naked, unarmed and acting erratically. He had removed his clothing at The Jefferson Hotel, where he worked as a part-time security guard, and driven away in a car, which collided into three others before crashing into some brush along an entrance ramp onto Interstate 64/95.
Peters ran onto the highway, where he was glanced by a passing car and fell, then rolled around.
When he noticed the officer nearby, Peters threatened to kill Nyantakyi and charged at him, screaming expletives.
After a warning, Nyantakyi deployed his Taser. Only one prong hit Peters, rendering the device ineffective, police said. Nyantakyi then shot Peters twice in the abdomen. One of the bullets passed through Peters' arm.
Peters' death galvanized community activists, led by his sister, Princess Blanding, calling for justice and policing reforms.
Peters was one of 12 siblings, and the youngest boy. Friends who knew him from VCU, where he graduated with honors, called him an "amazing person" who was always looking for ways to help others.
"He was literally the best person I ever met," his girlfriend said.
Richmond police do not include people they kill among homicide victims.
Elizabeth M. Zeigler, 34, was found about 1:23 p.m. May 17, shot on a sidewalk in the 4200 block of Walmsley Boulevard, a few blocks from where she lived. She was taken to a local hospital, where she died later that day.
Zeigler was more commonly known as “Strawberry” to friends and acquaintances.
Police said an unknown male was walking on the sidewalk toward Zeigler and a friend when the male pulled a firearm and began firing at the pair, striking Zeigler.
Ayah A. Alshaer, 20, has been charged with first-degree murder and gang participation.
Charles H. Pope Jr., 30, died three weeks after the Hopewell resident was shot in Richmond on May 29 at 2:57 a.m.
Officers responded to the 2300 block of Bethel Street where they found Charles H. Pope Jr., 30, in a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Kenneth L. Brown, 43, and another man were shot inside a home in the 900 block of Belt Boulevard around 11:45 p.m. on June 6.
Brown died at the scene.
The second man, who was wounded, told police a man they did not know entered the home and shot them both before fleeing on foot.
Quentin R. Robinson, 25, and Herbert O. Carter, 37, were found shot to death in the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue at 11 p.m. June 10.
Officers were in the area for an unrelated call when they heard gunfire.
Both men are from Henrico County. Robinson died from gunshot wounds to his back and Carter died from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the state medical examiner’s office.
Te'Von M. Cook, 26, and another man were suffering from gunshot wounds in the 1600 block of Spotsylvania Street in Mosby Court on June 16 around 2:30 a.m.
Cook died at the hospital. The other man lived.
Officers detained Vashawn C. Hill, 26, near the crime scene. He was later charged with first-degree murder and malicious wounding. In November, a jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter and recommended a six-year sentence. He will be formally sentenced in March.
Early June 25, police officers found Stephon B. Clarke, 33, unconscious and suffering from apparent gunshot wounds in the 1400 block of Drewry Street in the Bellemeade neighborhood. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Andrew K. Hensley, 19, was shot on June 29 around 12:45 a.m. in the 5800 block of Willow Oaks Drive. Hensley, who lived in North Chesterfield, was taken to a hospital and died more than two weeks later.
Fredericksburg resident Terrance C. Peters, 46, was gunned down along with three others, who were injured, in the parking lot beside a night club in Scott's Addition on July 13.
Peters was pronounced dead at the scene in the 1400 block of Roseneath Road. Two other men who had been shot were driven to a hospital in personal vehicles. A fourth man was found shot in a nearby vehicle and taken to a hospital.
No arrests have been made.
Joseph Lewis III, 19, was lying on the sidewalk at the intersection of East Gladstone Avenue and Meadowbridge Road about half a mile from his home in the North Side on July 29.
He had been shot and was pronounced dead on the scene.
The father of Devin S. Harrison, 22, called police after not hearing from her for 24 hours. About 4:40 p.m. on July 31, Richmond police officers performed a welfare check in the 2100 block of Fairfax Avenue. They found Harrison's body behind a home on that block. She had been shot.
In October, Lemar J. McDaniel Jr., 21, who lived in the home where Harrison's body was found, was charged with murder, concealment of a body and a gun crime. A three-day jury trial is scheduled for March.
Eyahlamar L. Davis, 19, was fatally shot and another man injured in a shooting on Aug. 9 at 12:52 a.m. in the 1800 block of Joplin Avenue in Richmond’s South Side.
Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.
A mother of two, Sherece Cook, 21, was shot to death in a vehicle with her children in the back seat on Aug. 10.
The Louisa County woman was pronounced dead at the scene after police discovered her about 9:23 p.m. in the driver's seat of an SUV in the middle of the street in the 3900 block of Peyton Avenue, just southeast of the Midlothian Village Apartments.
The two toddlers, both under age 3, were unharmed.
Leon M. Chandler II, 24, was shot to death just after midnight Aug. 19 outside a home in the 3500 block of Meadowbridge Road, where he lived in the Providence Park neighborhood.
Krissia Henderson-Burrus, 21, from North Chesterfield, died the day after she found was found shot Aug. 25 in a crashed car with a man, who also had been shot.
Shortly before 9 p.m., officers responded to the 4000 block of Hull Street where they found a vehicle that had crashed into a utility pole.
The man's injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Shirley Mae Woody Washington, 78, was fatally stabbed in her South Richmond home on Aug. 26, and her daughter is charged with her death.
At 5:52 a.m., police responded to the 3800 block of Peyton Avenue where they found Washington's body.
Her adult son, whom police did not name, also suffered stab wounds to the body that were not considered life-threatening.
Janice Tyler, 59, Washington's daughter, faces a murder trial in March.
She leaves behind a third child, three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Also on Aug. 26, Michael Allen, 41, was found lying in the grass between two apartment buildings in the 3000 block of P Street, where he lived. He’d been shot.
Keith Epps, 40, is awaiting trial for first-degree murder.
Police found Norbert D. Laury, 30, in the middle of the 2000 block of Mansion Avenue around 9:10 p.m. Sept. 8. Laury, who was suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tanya P. Washington, 47, was found about 2:25 a.m. on Sept. 13 in the roadway of the 700 block of Northside Avenue, where she lived.
Later that same day, detectives investigating Washington's death found Leon E. Willis, 57, inside his home in the 3100 block of Letcher Avenue. Willis appeared to have shot himself, police said.
Detectives said they believed Washington and Willis were in a relationship and ruled that the deaths were a domestic-related homicide and suicide.
Washington has two children to carry on her memory.
About 1:36 p.m. on Sept. 17, officers were called to a convenience store at the intersection of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Carver Street. Police found Joshua A. Grey, 23, inside the store, where he died.
Detectives believe the shooting occurred near the intersection and that Grey ran into the store after being shot.
Grey, who went by Josh, was an aspiring model, according to his obituary. His family called him a "mama's boy" who was vibrant, fearless and and most of all, "always bigger than life."
Two teenagers were arrested, but no charges were brought in court.
Wayne E. Friday, 35, was found suffering from a gunshot wound in an alley around 11 p.m. Sept. 28. He was pronounced dead at the scene in the 1600 block of North 19th Street.
Charles E. Jones Jr., 37, has been charged with murder and use of a firearm in a felony.
At 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 8, officers responded to a report of random gunfire in the area of Accommodation and Coalter streets in Mosby Court.
Officers were flagged down by a driver taking 29-year-old Larry McDonald, who had been shot, to the hospital. Officers called an ambulance. McDonald died the next day at the hospital.
Detectives believe the shooting occurred behind a building in the 1900 block of Redd Street in Mosby.
On Oct. 15, Richmond police were called at 5:40 p.m. after multiple people reported that a man had been shot. Officers found Lee M. Hudson Jr., 19, lying in a parking lot at Ashton Square Apartments, in the 600 block of Westover Hills Boulevard.
Hudson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rolando D. Williams Jr., or "Lil Roe" as he was known by friends and family, died at the hospital after he was shot about 12:45 p.m. Oct. 22 in the 400 block of Melmark Court in South Richmond. He was 24.
Brandon Law, 22, died Nov. 2 in the parking lot of a South Richmond apartment complex in the 5700 block of Westover Village Drive, where he lived. He'd been shot around 6:45 p.m.
Aaron "A.J." T. Brockington, 30, was shot and killed early Nov. 4. He was found in the roadway of the 2100 block of Deforrest Street.
Around 12:26 p.m. on Nov. 5, police responded to the 1200 block of Lakeview Avenue for the report of a person shot. They found Jerome Williams, 52, about a block away suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound. He was only a couple of blocks from home.
Williams was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Three men were arrested in connection with Williams' death: Stephen T. Benniefield, 57, Tyshawn D. Hargrove, 24, and Stephon T. Woodbury, 33, stand charged with murder.
The body of Dawn S. Dutcher, 50, was found around 7:45 a.m. Nov. 7 in an alley in the 3300 block of Decatur Street. She had been stabbed several times in the neck, according to the state medical examiner.
Video released by the police shows an unknown man walking with Dutcher a few hours before her body was found.
Demon Booker, 31, was shot to death Nov. 17 in the parking lot of the Village South apartment complex in the 3400 block of Maury Street.
Police were called Nov. 17 for a shooting about 10:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of Coalter Street, in the Mosby Court neighborhood, where they found a man with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. Danzall Seward, 24, was found nearby in an alley in the 1400 block of Bryan Street.
He died at a hospital about 9:50 p.m.
"Ya Ya" Yishawn Robinson, 17, was found shortly after 11 p.m. Dec. 2 between two buildings in the 1900 block of Raven Street, where he lived. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An officer who’d been on a routine patrol was notified about the body by a passer-by.
Police think Robinson’s death might be connected to another shooting in the same block two hours earlier.
Officers were called to the 1900 block of Raven Street and found a teenager, also 17 years old, with a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.
Two Richmond police officers shot and killed Anthony M. Edwards, 33, on Dec. 5 after they said he refused to drop the knife he was using to attack a woman in the backyard of her home on Cary Street just south of the city’s Fan District.
As Edwards attempted to force his way into the home in the 2000 block of West Cary, the woman who lived there and two others fled to a convenience store half a block away. Edwards, armed with a knife, followed them into the store and forced the woman back to the house, police said.
Master police officers Thomas Davis and David Torrence were called at 11:01 a.m. and directed to the home in the middle of the block between Meadow and Rowland streets. They entered and quickly moved through the house and out the back door, where they encountered Edwards stabbing a woman. They shot Edwards several times.
Two others were also stabbed in the attack. All three are expected to recover.
Edwards, who lived in Chesterfield, was a former boyfriend of one of the women who was stabbed, police said.
He was due in court a week later for arraignment on an assault and battery charge stemming from a November incident at the same Cary Street address.
Antoine R. Orange, 27, was shot and killed about 11:50 p.m. Dec. 17 in the parking lot of the 1300 block of Coalter Street near Mosby Court.
Orange was known to friends and family as "Soldier." Those who mourned him at a vigil held just days before Christmas near Creighton Court said he was funny and gregarious, which made him friends across the city.
"He didn't fear to go anywhere because he had friends everywhere," said Charles Willis, the executive director of United Communities Against Crime and a friend of the family.
Five days before Christmas, Antonio R. Chalkley, 33, was found by officers around 10:14 a.m. in an alley in the 2700 block of Hull Street, two blocks south of Midlothian Turnpike.
Chalkley was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Corey M. West Jr., 19, of Henrico County, was found in a vehicle with an apparent gunshot wound Sunday in the 3400 block of Maury Street in South Richmond.
He was taken to a local hospital and died of his injuries Monday morning.