Rah’quan Logan, lovingly known as “Ompa,” was described by family as a tall and broad-shouldered 14-year-old, and to them, still just a baby.
Friends, family and Richmond leaders remembered Rah’quan during a vigil Sunday outside the OMG Convenience Store on Nine Mile Road in Richmond’s East End, where the teenager was killed in a shooting on Nov. 12.
“He was a baby. He was our baby,” said Aleta Johnson, 53, Rah’quan’s aunt, standing alongside her distraught younger sister, Rah’quan’s mother. “And he’s gone, regardless of the situation.”
Rah’quan’s older sister, Tarneka Scruggs, recalled a “big kid” who had a knack for rapping and liked sports.
“It’s not been a day since this happened that I don’t wake up crying, thinking about him,” she said.
The vigil captured the grief of yet another Richmond family facing the sudden loss of a child in an incident of gun violence. In front of a gathering of about 100 attendees, many of them holding balloons, community leaders bellowed out calls for an end to the violence ending the lives of Black children and young men in Richmond.
“Richmond Public Schools has written too many letters to too many mothers and fathers who have lost their children,” said Richmond School Board Chair Cheryl Burke. “God, we need you.”
Friday’s shooting also took the life of Abdul Bani-Ahmad, 9, whose family owned the convenience store. Bani-Ahmad’s aunt, Linda Davis Abandeh, described the child as a caring son and brother who helped his mom care for his sibling, who has autism.
Abandeh said she recalled Rah’quan from his visits to the store, describing him as a “very sweet, very polite” young man.
“I remembered him from his cheeks when I saw him on TV,” Abandeh said. “I’m so sorry. My heart aches deeply with no understanding for this. Both of them, their whole lives were in front of them.”
Richmond police said Wednesday that they had four teenagers in custody in connection with the shooting. Police declined to identify three 17-year-old boys charged in the shooting, but identified one suspect as 18-year-old Clintoine Kenyahn Baker.
The shooting took place outside the convenience store Nov. 12 at about 7:30 p.m., when a red SUV drove by and sprayed bullets outside the store. An employee of a nearby convenience store, Vernell Marrow, described hearing what she believes were two guns firing more than 30 shots.
A police affidavit said the occupants of the vehicle then traveled north on Creighton Road, and when a silver sedan pulled in front of it, the occupants of the red SUV pulled their weapons again and began to fire at the occupied silver sedan.
Two men were also injured in the shooting.
Police declined to weigh in on a motive for the shooting but said it did not currently appear to have been a gang-related incident.
JJ Minor, president of the Richmond branch of the NAACP, said there are too many deaths like those of Rah’quan and Abdul, and urged fellow Richmonders and parents to action. Minor specifically looked to faith organizations to “wrap around families.”
The boys’ deaths brought the number of people slain in Richmond this year to 82, compared with 75 in 2020, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch database.
Those numbers include some deaths that Richmond police don’t record in their homicide statistics, including self-defense killings.
“I’m tired of marches, I’m tired of rallies, I’m tired of waiting on government,” Minor said. “We have to repair the village. We have to rebuild the village.”
The youngest person to speak at Sunday’s vigil was Rah’quan’s younger cousin, Kadon Webster, 8.
“Ompa was my cousin,” he said. “When I first saw he was dead, I was scared I was going to die. Life is scary, and I’m scared. But Ompa is in a great place, with our Lord.”