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South Richmond residents still concerned with rash of violence

RICHMOND, Va. —  South Richmond resident John Ellis admits his neighborhood is no stranger to violence.

“It’s very seldom that you can go a week without hearing gunshots,” he says.

On Tuesday night a father was killed in a shooting in the 5800 block of Orcutt Lane in the city’s Southside.

According to Richmond Police, there have been seven murders in the 9th District alone, from January 1, 2013 to June 25, 2014 which does not include Tuesday’s homicide.

In the 8th District there have been 11 homicides in the past 18 months.

City leaders have said they aren’t standing for this kind of violence and just last month they met with people living on the Southside about their concerns.

On Wednesday, Chief Ray Tarasovic and other officers walked through the Bramblewood Estates to also meet with people about their concerns.

But,  Ellis is concerned that might not be enough.

“When they’re in sight, nothings going on,” he said. “Who’s going to commit a crime in front of a police officer?”

CBS 6 asked Tarasovic if the department’s tactics are working.

“You know it’s interesting, we’ve seen a lot of violence in the last two days,” said Tarasovic. “We went 22 days without a homicide.”

CBS 6 also asked how the department plans to reassure residents that they are doing what they can to curb violence. Tarasovic said he wants people living in the city to know everyone in the department is willing to engage.

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