RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Janice Yellardy said her neighborhood has a problem. No neighbors, she said, come forward to speak out when violence visits their community.
“I heard the gunshots. People were grabbing up their kids, like always. It’s not fair. You’ve always got to run and get your kids. It’s just not safe here anymore,” the mother and grandmother said about Sunday’s shooting at a Mother’s Day cookout.
A five-year-old boy caught in the crossfire was struck in the arm. He is expected to recover. The gunmen, who Yellardy said came into Whitcomb Court from other public housing communities, have not yet been caught.
“The person who did it, do you think they care? No, they don’t care,” Yellardy said. “Richmond City Police can’t do anything about because ain’t no body talking.”
And that, according to Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic, is a major problem.
“With all of those people present, no one has come forward to specifically identify a suspect and be willing to back that up with testimony and that troubles me,” the chief said. “I am terribly concerned that we have not received an outcry from the community that cause us to make not an arrest, but an immediate arrest.”
Tarasovic said he is not panicked over Richmond’s uptick in violent crime. He said the city has experienced 24 more violent crimes in 2014 as compared to this same time last year.
“There is no tolerance level for violent crime. There is no bottom. This department sees no bottom. And I don’t want to community to sense that there is some bottom where violent crime is acceptable in this city,” the chief said.
He said planned to put added pressure on communities where crimes are committed in the hopes community members would come forward with information that can lead to arrests and stop violence.
Anyone with information about Sunday’s shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.