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20 years ago: Gilpin Court Massacre in Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. -- October 14, 1994. 9:30 a.m. The Gilpin Court housing project. 1008 St. James Street, apartment C.

Christopher "Pops" Goins, a 20-year-old crack dealer from New York City, pretty much wiped out an entire family with a Glock .45 caliber pistol. Close range shots.

As cold as it gets.

He was mad because the 14-year-old girl who lived in that apartment, Tamika Jones, got pregnant with his child, and his main girlfriend found out about it.

family murdered

So in he walked that morning, killing adults and children in their pajamas. James Randolph, 35, Daphne Jones, 29, Nicole Jones, 9, David Jones, 4, Robert Jones, 3. One child was slaughtered in the crib. Another died clutching Daphne's leg.

Tamika heard their screams. Then the screams stopped, she later testified. And Goins, her lover, came in her room and emptied his pistol into her belly, her 7-month-old fetus taking most of the bullets and saving her life. She hugged and shielded her 9-month-old sister, who was shot in the arm. (That's the child being rushed out in the arms of the female medic in the video.)

Tamika was able to call 9-1-1 and identify the shooter. (She lost her ability to have children. When we last talked to her, She was living in Los Angeles, although she may have moved to New York.)

More than 3,000 people turned out for the funeral at the Arthur Ashe Center. There were six gleaming-white caskets - one for unborn girl.

caskets

Even in the midst of Richmond's deadliest year since the Civil War (160 were murdered in the crack-cocaine fueled madness then), Richmonders felt this one. Most who were living here then remember it.

Goins was caught a month later in Brooklyn, with his girlfriend. He was unrepentant till the end, when he was executed by lethal injection in December of 2000.

Watch our video report and please add your memories.

48 comments

  • em

    Way to go WTVR! Not enough murder and mayhem going on in Richmond, lets pull up some old horrors from two decades ago and relive it. Fantastic story!

    • Dumbnews

      I agree this has got to be the dumbest and sadest news I’ve heard all year. I really don’t appreciate the negative propaganda of genocide that you are trying to make today’s richmonders relive. Whoevers in charge of the news that’s reosted should be slapped.

  • 143almostthere

    animals. people that act in that fashion are Animals. And I don’t care how that sounds it’s the truth.

  • Paula

    Eppiglotus and the rest of you is so heartless. This isnt about bring up nothing about crimes. It about what a brave young girl went through and how the city came togather. You all can’t see that because all you EM want to to do is be a jack###. Where is your prayers for this girl? I forgot people like you don’t know how to pray.

    • Dumbnews

      The story doesn’t present the girl as a hero at all! Now if the city came together, during that time, to stop the violence that’s great, but this story does not all display or promote what you got out of it. It’s sad story that unless the family of either party requested to be relived, should have never been revisited. Pointless

      • Shelly

        Three children, two parents and unborn child are killed, Tamika shot numerous times and her 2 year old sister is shot and you are bothered that it’s being posted? If you didn’t want to read about this, you had the option not to. Continue with your negative postings, behind your computer and living in your glass house. This is a true story with true victims. Just because you didn’t have to live with it or be impacted in anyway, doesn’t mean others weren’t. The lack of respect is just insane.

  • Robo

    What is the purpose of this story?
    Mark, I liked your work but are you out of ideas and have to dredge up this stuff?

  • marie

    LET ME STATE THE OBVIOUS (SARCASM) WHITE PEOPLE HAVE COMMITTED MASS MURDER!!…..AND WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE…..IN SCHOOLS, IN MALLS, IN MOVIE THEATERS. FURTHER, I HAVE SEEN EVEN MORE HEINOUS CRIMES ON ID DISCOVERY. YOU ALL LIVING UNDER A ROCK SHOULD CHECK IT OUT SOME TIME. DONT BE FOOLED BY MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

  • marie

    I SEE A STORY UNDER THIS ONE WHERE A WHITE FATHER KILLED HIS 5 KIDS….YES YOU’RE RIGHT O’RILEY, NOTHING’S CHANGED!

  • Antonio

    It’s sad I tell you I use to live right across from them I was 9 when all that happened and came home to ask my friend if she wanted to ride her bike but my mom stop me and told me she was gone now that was a sad sad sad day I tell you

      • Sammy

        Do you remember there was Democrat leadership in Richmond then and Demorat leadership now. They didn’t give 2 cents about this hole then and don’t know. So rush to the polls and keep voting in these greats and you will continue to get what you have gotten for years and years.

  • Sam

    Sometimes your statements sound somewhat crazy as in “off the wall”. Is it because you really have nothing to say? Or am I missing something in the statement?

    • Sam

      Sorry about the apparently extraneous comment. The above comment was a response to a statement by Ron M. which was removed leaving the response orphaned.

  • Shelly

    She was an impressionable 14 year old child! Come on man…. seriously. Blame solely belongs on the MURDER that murdered the family for no reason! I don’t care where this happened – nobody deserves this. My thoughts and prayers to her and her sister as they are the one that deal with the loss. Man, you make my stomach turn.

  • kenya jones

    No ones knows how it feels until you’ve had to live it. Ive lived it And I’ve lived a great life but nothing can fill the void that I have in my heart. My sister is a beautiful person and no one could ever tell me that this was hurt fault. She isn’t the most perfect person in the world but I wouldnt trade her for anything in the world. Our family may have lost their lives but we brought the city together. There’sa blessing in everything andi heard that 4000 people attenattendedthe ffuneral, so that one bad deed was over powered by all the love that came together. So of us have to die so there can live. God simply needed them more than we did.

    • Rosa Johnson

      I remember this vividly. I remember it was cold, and rainy. I remember the news anchor reporting the story crying and trying her best to hold back her tears. it was so sad and I remember being so angry about this. I always felt that his skank-friend, I think her name was Monica insisted he get rid of this child. she ran away with him. I wanted her charged as an accessory before and a coconspirator. I hope she pays for the role she played in this. im so happy to hear you and your sister has lived a happy life. god bless you and your family.

    • Vanessa Thomas

      If you don’t have nothing nice to say just be quiet…imagine what she went through and still going through…

    • Vanessa Thomas

      To. Kenya jones don’t let these negative comments get to you…some ppl are just so unkind to others..keep holding your head high and may God continue to bless you both..this crime affected awhile ccommunity

    • Shelly

      Amen Kenya. I have always wondered how the two of you were doing over the years. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sister, Tamika.

    • Paula

      Kenya these heartless fool that are making these negative comment their heart is just like goin. One day they are going to lose someone close to them but maybe they don’t have nobody to love or nobody love them.

    • PAM

      kENYA ,i’M SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU AND YOUR SISTER TAMIKA. MAY GOD BLESS YOU BOTH!!!! I REMEMBER THIS DAY LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. SUCH A SAD DAY!!!!

  • Sean B.

    I, too, remember this sad day like it was yesterday…I was 10 years old in 1994 living in Jackson Ward right on N. 1st Street just across the bridge from Gilpin Court when Goins did this heinous crime! I was SO afraid that day because it was too close to home. I literally was living across the bridge on N. 1st Street by Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church when this all happened…I just pray that God will see Tamika through and have mercy on us all. RIP to all the victims on that terrible day and to those precious children. Mr. Goins, WHY did you have to do it? WHY? WHY? WHY? smh.

  • S Payne

    Thanks for the follow up. I wondered what happened to Tamika. I hope her life has been good. And I didn’t realize Goins had been executed.

  • Vanessa Thomas

    If you don’t have nothing nice to say just be quiet…imagine what she went through and still going through…

  • Diane

    I remember. I’ve thought of this event every now and then over the years. It was so horrible. God bless Tamika, wherever she is

    • Greg Rapalot

      Paula and Shelly, you are the animals. Do you think we black people are stupid? Tamika knew exactly what she was getting into. She was greedy and brought this on her own family. After what happened to my sister by this ghetto thug and you’re calling me the monster… you know where you can go. I’m glad my dear mama moved us out the ghetto to get away from marks like you.

      • Tarishima Mahone

        I was gonna reply to your comment in the worst way but as I kept reading I realized that even though your comment (not the story) hurts me because you don’t know my cousin Tamika or the nature of her relationship with the murderer, instead I’ll just pray for you. I don’t like what you’ve said, but I respect your right to say it. Peace and Blessings to you.

      • Paula

        Greg why so angry. Are u sure you didn’t know what goin was going to do and you feel bad because your sis got catch in the cross fire. Sorry

  • Gail Emerson

    Thank you for doing this piece. I have thought often (and prayed for) the survivors of this horrible ordeal …for years.

  • kitty

    I remember this day…..what I sad.. sad..day in va…. and went to school with the killer’s girlfriend I still hate her til this day…and was so glad they caught and killed that demon…. God got you!

  • mbaker9105

    Ahh, yes, the great crack epidemic wave of violence of the mid 80’s and early 90’s that hit most of America’s cities. Cops were used to dealing with pot, coke, heroin, ups, downs, acid, etc., but this crack was really hard to get a grip on. Cheap, easy, and addictive as hell. There was so much violence between the gangs, and between the locals, trying to stake their claim it was crazy. THOSE were days to really not be in certain areas of the city. I think recalling the story is good, while tragic. Many were too young, or didn’t live in the area, to remember any of the madness rampant back then, those of us who were should be reminded time to time. “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it” – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

  • Ms. Richmond

    Greg u hung out with goin and what happen to your sister was your fault too. Don’t get mad when people feel sorry for Tamika. She was just a teenager like others teenager that do things wrong. She didn’t know her family was in danger

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