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Jackson Ward neighbors say community is safe, despite murder

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RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)--First Fridays Art Walk is gearing up and many are excited.

Some residents are concerned that after the recent shooting death of 18-year-old Jett Higham, people might avoid the area. But many living in the area, including West Clay Street said they consider the neighborhood safe.

Jason Kissoon has lived on West Clay for 5 years. "I do feel safe, you always see the police around, whether it be on the horses or patrolling," he said.

"Well I see police on this block fairly often and the lighting by my house is pretty decent," said Phillip Smith from his front porch.

And some added that what happened Tuesday shouldn't affect First Fridays Art Walk.

"I mean First Fridays is a really good thing for this neighborhood and I hope people keep on supporting it," said Amin Chaoui, who has lived on West Clay for more than a year.

"I don't think there will be any effect, I mean, I'm sure it will pass through peoples head and they will take a little bit more care," said Alexander Whiteway, who grew up in Richmond.

The First Fridays Art Walk was just one of several events that many believe have helped transform the area.

And many involved with the monthly event hope their patrons will continue to attend and support the arts.