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Teens, among 5 people, hurt in drive-by shooting

RICHMOND, Va. -- Five people, including two teenage girls, were transported to the hospital Wednesday morning following a drive-by shooting in Richmond's Whitcomb Court.

When Richmond Police first arrived to Bethel Street at about 2:30 a.m., officers found three males and two females suffering from gunshot wounds.

All five shooting victims were sitting on porches hanging out at different apartments when someone in a black Jeep opened fire on them. Police did not specify the model of vehicle believed to be used by the suspects.

Witnesses: Victims were at wrong place at wrong time

Witnesses described hearing dozens of shots prior to dropping to the ground for safety.

"I'm pretty sure a lot of people who got shot were at the wrong place wrong time," one witness said.

Several cars were also shot during the drive-by shooting. Witnesses, who described the scene, said they were afraid to show their faces in this report due to fear of retaliation.

"It's just hard living in the projects public housing," one witness said. "It's very irritating that someone would come through here and do a drive-by like that. You shoot multiple people and mess with people's vehicle. I mean anybody could've got shot, even kids."

Medics transported the shooting victims to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Hollow-point bullets and fired casings were scattered around the crime scene, even after detectives left. Police, who returned to Whitcomb Court to hand out flyers asking for help, collected the bullets for evidence.

Police have not yet released a motive in the shooting and asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

"Detectives have been working on this case since early this morning," Richmond Police Lt. Jason Hudson said. "We know there were many witnesses in the area at the time of the incident. We ask that anyone with any information to please come forward."

Witnesses can email news and photos here.

Families flock to hydrants

Less than 24 hours after the violence, neighborhood families flocked around the fire hydrant to play in the water.

The Richmond Police Department set up a schedule for the summer that will rotate opening hydrants weekly among the local housing projects.

Parent Diane Venable said she grew up in public housing and remembering what it’s like during the summer months. She said she wants there to be more positive events in the neighborhood, like the kids playing in the water.

“When I first moved to Dove court and they were doing the fire hydrants… kids come from everywhere just to have fun and stay cool,” Venable said.

The afternoon scene was far different, as shrieks and laughter sounded through the area, temporarily washing away memories of gunfire and sirens.

“It’s positive for them to get out here and play and have fun; that’s what we need,” Venable said.

“It’s sad for the little kids to see this….growing up like that…that’s all I hear about somebody got shot,” Venable said. “It doesn’t make them look good. They’ll go right for the same foot steps. And that’s not what we want.”