Man shot and killed in Petersburg as children play nearby

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg police are investigating a fatal shooting outside of a Petersburg deli Thursday.

Police were called around 4:39 p.m. to the 800 block of W Washington St for a shooting outside of American's Choice Deli.

A man who lives in that neighborhood said he heard at least 16 shots crack Thursday afternoon.

Orange cones marked evidence on the ground as police officers bagged up the shoes and clothes belonging to a man who was gunned down in the back parking lot of the deli.

"All the children heard the shots," said Melissa McKensie.  "It was a whole lot of shooting.  It's the second time this month, and we just moved here."

Petersburg police said a man was hit at least once and appears to have been shot at multiple times. He was rushed to Southside Regional Medical Center where he died late Thursday night.

They said the suspect was last seen running down nearby Hinton Street. There is no description at this time.

"All crime is too close to home,” said Deacon Jerome Hutchinson from Calvary Temple Church. He came by to check things out after hearing officers were near the church parking lot, looking for clues.

"I don't want to quote the scripture, but the lord says if you live by the sword, you will perish by it, too," said Hutchinson.

Hutchinson doesn't know the players involved in Thursday’s shooting, but says he will be praying for both men.

One man who lives nearby said when the shots rang out, the children that were out playing in their yards scattered and he saw both men shooting at each other.

Police are still trying to confirm that and they're looking for witnesses to help them piece things together.

Togetherness is something Hutchinson said the community desperately needs.

"You approach me with decency and you speak to me nicely, I return the courtesy of speaking to you the same,” Hutchinson said.  “That's what we all gotta’ do. Treat each other like brothers and sisters, no matter what color we are."

Police asked anyone with information about this homicide or any crime in the Petersburg or Dinwiddie County area, call Crime Solvers at 861-1212. You can also submit your tip at pdcrimesolvers.org or text pdcash followed by the tip to 274637.