RICHMOND, Va. -- It's not even summer yet and violent crime and shootings are heating up the streets of Richmond. The violence already has residents asking “When is it going to stop?”
Thursday night Jon Burkett took those concerns to Mayor Levar Stoney who assured him that a plan for swift justice is on the way.
"They are wreaking havoc on our communities," said Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham.
For the second time in as many days, a car was riddled with bullets in Creighton Court. Crime Insider sources say a man showed up at Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital with a non-life-threatening injury Thursday.
"We've had 97 folks shot in the city this year,” said Durham.
Of the 97 shootings, 28 of those them have been murders.
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Crime Insider sources tell Burkett that out of 90 aggravated assault calls in recent months, 30 came from the Mosby Court neighborhood, which is where a Virginia State special agent was recently shot and killed.
Another Crime Insider says Richmond has had nearly 25 more shootings this year than this time last year.
"What are we going to do particularly over the summer?” said Stoney. “You're going to see us step up our presence in some of our neighborhoods. The neighborhoods that we will be in will be driven by data."
According to Stoney, Richmond Police will lead the charge with help from state and federal partners.
There's also chatter about breathing new life into Project Exile, a program where possession of illegal guns means automatic prison time. But police say that has to come from prosecutors.
"You have state and federal,” said Durham. “Well, when they go state, we have had cases ladies and gentleman, where a person shoots somebody, they will get bond, get released on bond then commit another gun offense."
"Illegal guns are infiltrating and unfortunately inundating some of our neighborhoods,” said Stoney. “You have, young people, teenagers, walking around armed. No one should tolerate that... We can't have that."
On the subject of illegal guns, Chief Durham told a crowd Thursday that his officers arrested several girlfriends who had “straw” purchased guns for their convicted felon loved ones at a gun show at the old Kmart on Midlothian Turnpike last weekend.
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