Richmond toddler shooting suspect could face mandatory time for priors

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RICHMOND, Va. – The person who shot a 23-month-old girl in Richmond’s Hillside Court neighborhood on Sunday night, June 1, surrendered himself to police.

The male who surrendered has been identified as Dontrell M. Mason, 21, of the 2100 block of Mimosa Street. Mason has been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and additional charges are pending.

He turned himself in Thursday afternoon with his lawyer. This shooting was accidental, according to the suspect. Police sources said he was playing with the gun when it discharged. The male is not related to the child.

The child was shot Sunday night, about 10:00 p.m., along the 1400 block of Harwood Street.

Richmond Police detectives have investigated throughout the week, and the Richmond Police Chief and city of Richmond Mayor held a special meeting to discuss violence against children.


Police have been in touch with Child Protective Services regarding other children in the home.

The one-year-old shooting victim was taken to the hospital with injuries that were considered "non life-threatening,” according to police. She wasn't released until Thursday.

Mason has a lengthy criminal record with past cases in Chesterfield, Henrico and Richmond. But from what we've dug up none of his felony convictions was for a violent crime.

Police credit the community and investigative work in the identification of Mason, who has had some trouble in his past.  That means he likely faces mandatory jail time, according to CBS-6 legal expert Todd Stone.

"The accidental shooting is usually the reckless use of a firearm charge and that's a misdemeanor,” said Stone.  “But when it's done by a felon in possession of a weapon, that aggravates it.  So the possession charge will get him from two to five years of mandatory time, if his previous convictions were  violent offenses.”

Police say Mason could also face additional charges.

Neighbors, many of whom refused to speak on camera, said they were fed up with crime in the neighborhood.

“It’s just mind-blowing, you know? You just always have to keep your eyes on your child at all times,” said Quachaunda Meredith, who pointed out that her daughter is always within arms reach when she plays outside.

“It’s just that bullets has everybody’s name on it,” said Darzell Tucker, a mother of two. “That’s how I look at it.”

Detectives still ask anyone with any information about this crime to please call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip. Both methods are anonymous.


  • phase

    Verified FBIS National Crimes Victimization Survey, the Department of Justice UCR Uniform Crime Reports; Blacks 7 times more likely to commit murder, and 8 times more likely to commit robbery, blacks are 3 times more likely to use a handgun, 2 times more likely to use a knife. Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime on whites than visa-versa, and 136 times likely to commit robbery. My question is are these facts “racist”? Obama (I cannot bring myself to call him president), has been raised by a white mother, grandmother, and grandfather, and is half white, but when it comes to his black side states when a young black man is killed. “He could have been my son”. What a pathetic and race fueled comment! Yes the bleeding hearts wanted a black president at any cost, without truly doing the smell test and folks that is what you got. Pandora’s Box comes to mind. Exercise your second amendment, get trained. People have been killed by this “game”. At the very least, carry a canister of bear spray. It may save your life or the life of a loved one. You still trying to decide who is racist? Are you black? Impeach Obama. This great country can wake up and do better!

    • Mr. StealYoGurl

      > You still trying to decide who is racist?
      No, you’ve made a pretty strong case for yourself.

    • neka

      I’m not understanding what the color of our skin have to do with this situation. When we bleed its all red, when we cry its clear tears dropping from our face, when we put our pants on we do one leg at a time, when you pull a trigger we all use the same finger!!!! You would have thought the racism would be over by now smh. People need to take the color of our skin out our vocab and learn to take responsibility when you wrong. What it would have made a difference if he was a different race? What you would have said then?? He didn’t mean it…… You would have came up with some dumb excuse.

      • B Addy

        Neka , I think a lot of it has to do with the %’s . The numbers do not lie and if you look at them and then think about what Clayton said in his post about 14% of the population, and then realize it accounts for 50+ % of the crime it is a huge problem in which very few in the black community want to acknowledge , much less try to stop. You hit the nail on the head in talking about taking responsibility when wrong , and that is clearly not happening.

    • Clayton Bigsby

      Your facts are correct, however, you left out what I feel is the most important statistic. Those crime figures are comprised by a population that only makes up 14 % of the population. It’s quite staggering when you think about it.

  • Laine

    It never ceases to amaze me that people will surround themselves with trash & then cry the blues when their kids are harmed! If they’d work hard to keep this type of trash away from their kids much of this type of thing wouldn’t happen. It they were trying as hard to make something of themselves as they were trying to impress the trash around them the outcome would’ve been alot better!


    Wellc Phase, get over it. He is YOUR PRESIDENT as well as MINE. You come up with all these statistics. I have one for you. YOU are 100% RACIST

    • B Addy

      Tonya , He is also 100% CORRECT. It is unfortunate but acting like it is not a problem and then calling someone else names to deflect from it do not work.

  • Latoya Johnson

    Anyone who looks at violence from a U.S perspective and therefore concludes that any one race is more inclined to to violence is grossly misinformed. Although knowing history, and taking into account global atrocities that humans of all races have inflected upon one another since the beginning of time does not feed your agenda, it should not be negated. There is undoubtedly urgent opportunity for the black community to address, and take steps to correct the areas of education, parental disengagement, misplaced values, and poverty; all of which are all variables in the density of crime within the community. However, it cannot be denied that the crimes of blacks whether misdemeanor, felonious or otherwise, are highlighted by the media more than those of whites. If you look at the local “Gotcha” paper, there are just as many crimes being committed by Whites that will never be spotlighted on the mainstream news. It would behoove readers to do their own research and use common knowledge before they either identify to a certain behavior through tribalism, or make uninformed statements about topics that they have only surface level knowledge of.

    • manalishi

      So, let me get this straight. If one ” concludes that any one race is more inclined to to violence” based on statistics, ratios, and or facts, in your world they are “grossly misinformed.” Yet you spend 1/2 of a long winded paragraph contradicting yourself. “There is undoubtedly urgent opportunity for the black community to address, and take steps to correct the areas of education, parental disengagement, misplaced values, and poverty; all of which are all variables in the density of crime within the community.” W T F!!?? Describing the current plight of the black community as an “opportunity” is some sophomoric attempt to ask good people (including black) to look the other way or to say it’s not that bad. Your full of s**t.

  • me

    Facts, stats, records, investigations, police blotters/logs, targeted taxes for enforcement. document there is a Problem in Richmond City that the official refuse to deal with, and blame everything else but the apparent facts.

  • Becky

    Why and how can it be correct to deny the facts, stats, police blotters/logs, investigations,
    targeted taxes to troubled areas, that substantiate the proof, and blame something else
    and excuse the truth?

  • Becky Matz

    the gun accidentally discharged? Well- give the guy some credit for coming forward. I am very blessed to not live in a place somewhere theres a bullet with myy name on it

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