HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham and Chief Henrico Police Chief Doug Middleton held a joint press conference Thursday afternoon to address recent homicides in both the city and county.
Richmond Police identified two shooting victims killed Wednesday morning on Accommodation Street as 33-year-old Jawaun L. Hargrove and 21-year-old Anthony D. Addison.
Henrico Police have experienced a spike in murders, especially in the section of the county where there have been four murders within a two-mile stretch since August 17, near the Richmond International Raceway.
Both chiefs encouraged the community to come forward with information about recent crimes.
“We ask for the help of the community,” Chief Middleton said. "This recent spike is alarming to us."
He explained that police have engaged the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, for resources. Middleton also said that drugs are "frequently connected" with the recent crimes. He wouldn't go into detail but said there are some connections in some of the crimes.
“We are going to have increase patrols,” Middleton said of the Henrico near RIR corridor. “We know we need to pay more attention there.”
Chief Durham said there have been 27 homicides in Richmond this year and that during the summer there has been an increase in gun violence.
"We may have a decrease in violent crime, but there is an increase in use of firearms in other crimes," Durham said.
Durham said that 464 illegal firearms have been confiscated since Jan. 1 this year.
He also noted that Richmond has a lot of vehicle theft, and that people leave their firearms in the car.
He also had a lot to say about parents obstructing investigations involving guns and children.
“We have had several of our youth in this city handling firearms and have negligent discharges and shoot themselves. And parents are actually covering up, saying it happened somewhere else. So now we have our officers who come in, especially when it’s a child or senior, that really touches our heart. And we’re coming in being compassionate and looking to help resolve this issue, and the parents are lying to us. You know, and that takes away from the passion that our officers have. Now you’re lying when we’re trying to find out who actually shot your son. So, this is a plea also to the parents out there, or anyone who knows there’s an illegal firearm in your home. Call us. I’m not looking to lock anybody… I’m want to get the gun out of your home because that weapon may be used to harm someone in your family, or someone else, and I think that’s very important.”
Scroll down for live updates from the press conference. Below is the video of the conference.