Details emerging in mysterious shooting death of a 16-year-old in South Richmond alley

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Richmond police and prosecutors have released very few details in the two weeks since 16-year-old Robert Lee Fox of Mechanicsville was fatally shot in a South Richmond alley.

The shooter hasn’t been identified by police, or charged since the early morning shooting on February 25 in the 3600 block of McRand Street.

CBS-6 has learned the shooter is  African-American, in his late 20s and apparently is a military veteran. He has since moved out of the rental house.

In early or mid-April, a  Richmond grand jury will decide whether charges should be filed against him for shooting the unarmed teen during what, we’re told, was a confrontation over the break-in of a vehicle owned by the resident.

CBS-6 has requested recordings of the 911 calls that night from the residence, which I’m told report the break-in in the alley.

Our request was refused  because those recordings are part of the police investigation.

There is no video evidence, we’re told. Apparently, there were words exchanged between the teen and the resident after the break-in was discovered, and the homeowner heard what he believed to be threatening words.

The grand jury will have to decide what exactly was said and whether it constituted a threat. Could the resident have reasonably interpreted that he was in danger, much like a bank teller listening to a robber threatening that he has a weapon and will use it?

Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring declined to release specific details of the incident.

“I don’t think the facts are going to be much in dispute,” he said. “I think the issue if going to be whether the reaction to the facts as they presented themselves is appropriate or not.”

In Virginia, Herring said, citizens can legally use deadly force to protect themselves, but not their property.

Herring said he does expect “the witness accounts of the incident to vary depending on whether they were witnesses who were with the victim or witnesses who were with the property owner.”

He believes the investigation will be thorough and hopes that grand jury weighs that evidence with great and careful deliberation.

Herring’s history indicates a low tolerance for citizens opening fire in defense of property.

For example, four years ago, Virginia Union student Eric Driver faced 2nd degree murder charges after he shot and killed a masked man who had broken into his girlfriend’s car and yelled threateningly at her when she caught him in the act. Driver was convicted of manslaughter and served no time.

“As a prosecutor,” Herring said, “I don’t want people using deadly force to protect property. I don’t want people using deadly force to apprehend those who are fleeing the scene.”

In fact, he said, he wants citizens to retreat to safety whenever they can and to call police instead of trying to deal with dangerous situations themselves.

“Rarely does anything good come of that,” Herring said.

47 comments

    • Barrack

      There was nothing racist about his statement. However, your assumption of racism based on one sentence shows that you are racist and see everything in those terms. Sad…

    • Morning Dew

      @manalishi _ I am going to play the grammar police because when you use the word “your” incorrectly, I have trouble listening to the rest of your argument and I discount it because you don’t care enough to use it correctly.

      Your is possessive, like your jacket.
      You’re is a contraction for “you are” and is the word you want to use.

      For example:
      “Your a tolerant supporter of crime via racism.’ You’re a tolerant supporter of crime via racism.

  • joshua

    I don’t know what happened but I do know from a personal experience that some of these young teens can talk some extremely violent, threatening words. I think they maypick it up from their daily doses of violent music and movies. They memorize lines and use them in in ways to make them appear more fierce or strong but in the end it can end up getting them killed.

  • Craig Hunter

    This is the story of institutional racism perpetuated by white Americans against people of color . Because of hidden influences by white Americans to commit violence against people of Africandescent.

  • CorrectMess

    Waiting… for the “Official Police Investigation” as Tax Paid Public Servants. They must have a very official reason for this lengthy,
    hidden, public-government process.

  • jannie

    Theres not a big uproar because Trayvon Martin was doing nothing but walking from the store. Besides, this case is totally different, who’s to say that the deceased broke into anything, he could have been passing. therefore, we really dont know at this time just as the police dont know either, thats why theyre still investigating. but we do know for sure Trayvon didnt do anything but try to stand his ground against a strange man that followed and chased him, but im sure you justify that also. cant wait til the day a stranger follows and chases you down, then see if your defense meganism kick in.

      • jannie

        You sound foolish, evidence also shows that had GZ not bothered TM, things would not have happened . Its very obvious that the boy was afraid, I believe TM was chased, and tried to hide, GZ found him and approached him, and thats when TM tried to defend himself. I dont know where youre from, but in the real world no one wants anyone chasing them down, naturally youre going to react out of fear. GZ should have had manners and followed the instructions of law inforcement or at the least announced what his motive was to that young man. i bet if i chased you down and followed you, youre gping to react in some type . Please, pt yourself in TM shoes.

      • Manalishi.

        Dispatchers are not law enforcement. Naturally in your world, attack is acceptable. And I cant put myself in trayvon’s shoes because,,,,I don’t soke weed and was never kicked out of school for weed or possession of B7E evidence or bi**h slapping a teacher. I was not dumped of on my deadbeat dad because mama couldn’t handle my issues anymore.

        I cannot relate to to some freakshow culture you are fledgling to defend. The bottom ;line is TM is Gone, GZ is still here. The only person i hear say TM was afraid is a dope smoking, drunk ghetto whale with court nails who was caught lying multiple times on the stand,,,,,,,and you.

  • shanice

    thank u jannie my point exactly.. its nothing else to say.. u set the record STRAIGHT!!!!!!! thats why there is no up roar about this situation because its completely different from trayvon martin

    • manalishi

      STRAIGHT!?? There was no evidence that TM ever tried to stand his ground or defend himself. But there was plenty of evidence testimonial and forensic that he did attack GZ. Its not very smart to attack an armed person. If you do not know if a person is armed or not,,, maybe some manners would be prudent.

    • Joe

      Yep sure is….in this case a black man shot a thug black kid committing a crime. No big deal. But a white looking man kills a thug black kid committing a crime and it was because the kid was black. You people are sad. Just looking for excuses for everything. Go back to Africa…planes can get you there faster than the boats brought you here

  • Craig Hunter

    This story has EVERYTHING to with . It is the story of the violence perpetuated by against people of . That dog is a fine pit bull and a Canine-American. As such, he deserves a fair trial, something that is impossible to get if you are a .

    • BO

      People that live in that area have told me they don’t go to the store on broadrock(a few blocks away)because of teens that cause trouble so spare us the speech on poor innocent youth.

  • Baited

    If a black is involved anywhere, at any time, for any reason there must
    be race baiting, race card, and racial hate manifested as the way, the
    will, and the intent by those shouting it the loudest as profiled protected
    monotonous war cry.
    The FACTS aren’t even revealed; yet it has started.

    • April Davis

      Lyndsay what crime was Trayvon comitting? Walking while black? Walking with skittles after hours? Having a hoodie on while walking home? I know I know… Talking on a cellphone while being black at night… with a pocket full of ice tea and skittles in fl….

    • Manalishi.

      Obviously, trayvon thought it was smarter to deliver a beating rather than to simply say who he was and why he was there. No crimes committed by either until the first punch was thrown.

      • jannie

        So to the person that hates TM, well seems like you was there when the fight took place. No one really knows what happened that night, TM is not here to tell his side of the story to say who hit who first. It doesnt mean that TM hit GZ first just because he got beat up, If you grab me and I blacken your eye, that does not make me the aggressor, it would just mean that you got hit harder. Be careful how you justify things because one day you could very well be in the same shoes that TM parents are in or Roberts parents. If i followed and chased you down, are u going to wait to talk to me to see what i want,? hell no! Chances are u are going to feel afraid. TM had no win with the justice system to began with. If TM would have chased and followed GZ and stil got shot, they would have still said he had the right, but he will get his too, im sure he will have children one day. Karma dont always come to the person in question, but instead to their loved ones. Its evil to say, but you definitely needs to feel these parents pain. And what child havent gotten into trouble at school. Teens smoke weed all the time, thats no big deal. One thing for certain that boy wasnt doing anything wrong. Hate it or love it, but the only reason you cannot see the truth is because you have a one tract mind, you dont like blacks and you think unreasonable. If those teens were pinkish pale youd be singing a different song.

    • Manalishi.

      Had to play the race, didn’t you. But in your paragraph, you accidentally admit that it’s ok that travon bit**slapped a teacher, ok to get caught with B&E evidence, Its’s ok for kids to have weed at school.

      Apparently your standards of “trouble in school” are as low as any other stereotypical democrat that has to rationalize their complete lack of values and standards. Adults can debate as they wish, but the fact that your fine with kids smoking pot,,,”Teens smoke weed all the time, thats no big deal.” No big deal? You just endorsed kids smoking weed, Now that’s democrat trash. Stay away from my kids you freak.

      The was no evidence that GZ grabbed martin as you say. I sure you have your vision of what happened from you blatant racist mindset and cannot stand the fact that people are not tolerating common criminals for some protective reason. Please elevate you personal standards and be a productive part of society. Stop hiding behind the overplayed race victim pretentiousness.

      • jannie

        First of all, You can keep the political stands to yourself, I don’t vote by choice. You are the typical judgemental jerk. We all know that TM met an senseless death because of GZ, theres no way to justify that. My point is, ‘say if TM did smoke weed” does that give him a death sentence? I’m not endorsing anything, Thankfully, you have children, you should be praying that your children never encounter someone like GZ on his\her little walk. It saddens me that these type of crimes can happen to our children and people like you are ok with it. Nothing goes unpunished, I’m sure you will see this again from the other side of the fence. What does school have to do with that boy being stalked, harrassed, followed, chased, and murdered? Absolutely nothing at all. In reality there are very few “perfect” children. Kids do sneaky things all the time, but that does not give someone the right to kill them, GZ is not the victim here, TM is a vidtim of a crime because had a hoodie on and was a young black teen. Its not okay to look at someone and form a bad opinion. What if I went on a rampage and decided that Im going to be paranoid of everyone that does not look like me , then react by shooting them one by one because I wouldnt want to cross their path assuming that theyre all out to get me. Exactly what GZ did. Come off of your high horse honey and snap to reality. You must have been the rare perfect child. I watched the whole entire trial, and there was not one teacher that said TM slappped another teacher. Thats why we are arming ourselves so this will not happen, please dont chase me, or follow me because at this point I’m going to assume that everyone that dont lookn ike me is a threat, as you see it. I’m out done, and smh, this is really a shame that you people are so heartless up until something happens to your children, then u would understand. You could say I where short pants, but does that make me a prostitute, you could say i have a sleeve of tattoos, but does that make me a hippi, you could say I carry a gun, but does that make me a murderer. Be sure to teach your children never to even take a short cut through no ones yard, if a car rides up on them, dont run, but instead walk up to the car to ask the driver whats wrong, if someone follows them to stop walking and wait to see what they wants, and if someone grabs at them let them, tell them its okay and that more than likely its the neighborhood watch.

    • manalishi

      Stay away from the kids you racist democrat freak. There were no teachers in the GZ trial, you are a pathological liar that spins to look intelligent,,,stereotypical democrat trash.

  • me

    For those who know so much about my little brother, what if i Told you we weren’t the ones breaking into cars and that 911 got a call about another group of people allegedly breaking into cars 20 minutes before my brother was shot from yards away…oh and dont let me forget how he was shot in the back of his head…call it what you all want it’s murder. Just know that if it happened to Robert, it can happen to your sister, brother, son, or daughter. My brother wasnt the perfect kid, but he was still a kid. But we all know that we dont matter to you all. If we did i wouldn’t have read the comments above. 400

  • jannie

    You people are always saying that blacks try to use the race card, when in fact it you whites that does it all the time. Why is color a point, the matter in this story is disturbing because a young man lost his life, its not ok to shoot anyone, especially over something so material if thats even the case, obviously the shooter was not in harms way because the kid was shot from the back. Do yall think its ok because the shooter is black? Thants not ok either. I have 3 sons that are not violent at all and are very good kids, i would not want nothing to happen to either of my children. Some of u must dont have children to justify murder, he could have been purple as far as I’m concerned, it still aint right. After all the kid was human and belongs to someone. For u all that thinks its ok to kill someone over property, hopefully, your teens never ever steal anything, because I guess u are going to give the ok for someone to murder your child. Besides yall seem to know more than the police know, they dont even know if the kid was responsible for anything and even if he was, u dont just play GOD, u allow law enforcement to handlemit.

    • Manalishi.

      Defense is not murder. Thank you for raising your children? Now tell the other parents that do not raise their kids to quit crying when it goes wrong.

    • Joe

      No…I work for my stuff. Not for little thugs to come and take it. You want my things that I worked for and you didn’t, that’s fine. I have plenty of .40 that I paid for too that they can have

  • mom

    Manalishi your the one that’s racist. Sound like you got some issues in your life you need to deal with. Why r you focusing on negativity. Face your demons please!!!!! One sided mind.

    • manalishi

      Precisely where have I injected race into this? I would hope that you do not believe that intolerance of laws, values, morals, integrity, and manners are racist. However, it seems as such.

      I do not focus on negativity, but address them directly. The smartest person i ever met once to;me to remember,,”only dogs hear dog whistles”. Pay attention. Rise above.

  • me

    for everybody that commented and dont know what they are talking about ! My brother did not commit any crime , since he was stealing .. wheres all the stuff he stole ? o.. and if anybody has anything negative to say about him ? kill yourself .. && Thats #400 !!

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