String of murders leads to shootout with Richmond police

RICHMOND, Va. – A chaotic scene erupted in Richmond's Highland Park neighborhood on 4th Avenue Thursday morning, during an Richmond Police Department officer-involved shooting.

The shooting, according to Crime Insider sources, was one in a string of violence which spread across two counties. The violence began late Wednesday night, into the morning, and ended with two people dead and one seriously injured.

Violence began in Wednesday night

Overnight, 36-year-old Basheed Boatwright was found murdered in Chesterfield County.

Crime Insider sources told Reporter Jon Burkett that Boatwright was a known member of the home-grown gang Lake View Crew, and that he has ties to Michael Boston who was found murdered near City Stadium Wednesday. After Boatwright's murder, a be on the lookout was broadcast for a silver Honda SUV.

Crime Insider sources said that the vehicle was seen at Stockton Street, where Antoine Smith Jr. was fatally shot, and his mother left injured. Then the silver SUV was spotted at a double shooting in Gilpin Court.

At approximately 8:27 a.m., moments after the Gilpin shooting, an RPD officer attempted to stop the SUV but it sped away and a short pursuit ensued.

About two minutes later, the vehicle was forced to stop in 3300 block of 4th Avenue, when the roadway ended at a wooded area. Police said that one occupant exited the vehicle and fired multiple shots from an assault-style weapon at the officer, and it struck his cruiser. The shooter was struck when the officer returned fire. A second occupant exited the vehicle and fled into the wooded area.

Additional RPD officers arrived at the scene. They applied a tourniquet to the leg of the wounded shooter until paramedics arrived to transport him to a local hospital.

He is expected to survive, police said. An assault-style weapon was recovered near the vehicle.

About an hour later, RPD officers located the second occupant of the vehicle in the wooded area; they identified the suspect as a juvenile.

Neighborhood shocked as violence unfolds near bus stop

The chase ended very close to where neighbors said kids board a bus to get to school.

"Any of those kids could have gotten hurt, the parents could have gotten hurt -- you just don't do that," said Kathy Robinson, who lives in the neighborhood.

"They came down here on the block, and they hollered go back in your house, get in your house, that's what the police said," Robinson added. "I have grandkids and they like to be out in the yard, and you can't do that you gotta be out here with them, cause you never know, a stray bullet ain't got nobody's name on it.”

Now neighbors, who call the sound of gunfire here routine, want the violence to stop.

“Everybody needs to come together and stop the hate in this community...it's not happening," Robinson's cousin said.

The same neighborhood was left stunned by gun violence in August, when a double shooting took the life of an older man and left a 9-year-old girl injured.

Police believe the gunfire was related to a fight that had occurred earlier in the day between two teenagers. Bullets from that altercation killed 57-year-old Victor A. Harris.

"It felt like I was paralyzed," said nine-year-old Solai Coleman, who was on a friend’s porch when she was shot.  

She's heard gunshots several times so she knew to run, but she couldn't out run one of the bullets.