RICHMOND, Va. – There have been 33 shooting deaths in the city of Richmond so far in 2017, and four of these fatalities were teenagers – two double homicides, each within ten weeks of the other.
The Richmond Police Department identified the two teens killed in a double homicide Wednesday evening, June 7.
Christian K. Singleton, age 15, of the 3900 block of Larchmont Lane and Ketron R. Wells, age 16, of the 1700 block of Halifax Avenue, were found lying near each other at 9:53 p.m., in the 3600 block of Decatur Street.
They were both shot, police said.
“This is the second time this year that two teens, children, have been shot and killed together; last March in Mosby Court and now this,” said RPD Chief Alfred Durham. “It is hard to imagine the pain their families are experiencing.”
Both Singleton and Wells were students in the Richmond Public School System. Wells attended Armstrong High School and Singleton was attending the Richmond Alternative School.
“We recognize the severe impacts that these unfortunate incidents have had on the culture and climate of our schools,” said RPS Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden, who extended his condolences to the family and community. “Every time there is an act of violence involving our students, it disrupts our learning environment and increases the already existing challenges in helping our students achieve academic success.”
Bedden said that RPS will continue to work collaboratively with police and community partners to “ensure that the safety and well-being of our students remains paramount in our school system.”
Police are currently investigating 25 homicides in the city.
“The only way we can bring some measure of comfort to them is to catch the killers,” Durham said. “In both cases, our detectives need tips from the public to solve these crimes. Staying silent is no longer an option. I encourage anyone with information to tell us what you know.”
Taliek K. Brown, 15, of the 400 block of East Brookland Park Boulevard, was pronounced dead after being removed from life-support. Mikkaisha D. Smoot, 16, of the 2100 block of Deforrest Street, was also pronounced dead after being removed from life-support.
An adult woman was also found with an apparent gunshot wound in this shooting. Her wound was not considered life-threatening. Officials previously indicated that the adult was taking out her trash when she was struck in the crossfire.
Police don't believe the teens were the intended targets, but they are still asking for help from the community to solve the case.
Anyone with information about these homicides is asked to call Major Crimes Detective J. Fultz at (804) 646-3929 or contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or at http://www.7801000.com.
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