RICHMOND, Va. – There has been a 26 percent increase in the number of people shot this year compared to stats this time last year, according to new numbers released by the Richmond Police Department.
One-hundred-eighty people have been shot in 2017, compared to 142 who had been shot by this time last year. RPD said there have been 52 homicides so far this year compared to 47 at this time last year.
The escalating numbers have people who live and work in the city worried.
Chef Gary Carter said he no longer feels safe working late into the night at Sweet Teas in Shockoe Bottom on the weekend, so he's changing his schedule.
"Anytime after 12 o'clock it is wild down here. I don't know what happened, it used to be good," Carter said.
An argument led to a shooting early Sunday morning on the same block as the restaurant.
It left two best friends dead and bullet holes in another nearby restaurant.
"The police is down here, but they can't protect everybody," Carter said.
Police responded to five different shootings throughout the city this past weekend.
Six people were injured, including two juveniles, and two were killed.
"We had a bad weekend. We had a bad week," Richmond Police Deputy Chief Steve Drew said.
Drew said his detectives are working hard to determine motives for Eley shooting and find the shooters, but the fact that they're so spread out adds challenges.
"If they were more concentrated in one neighborhood it might help us to determine what the cause what the foundation why are they happening, who is involved, is there a beef,"
Still, he said he believes the department will solve Saturday’s double homicide quickly and turn around the escalating violence.
"I am confident we can bring down the violence in this city. We have done it before, I've seen it happen before. We just sometimes have to reroute our strategies, get a clear understanding of what is causing some of the violence, and the locations it's happening," Drew said.
To that point, a couple of weeks ago the department announced a new anti-violence social media campaign called "Respect Richmond."
Drew said people need to give to time to make an impact.
"I think any new strategy you put in place some work right away, and then some take a while to take effect I think that's one that is going to take a while to take effect," Drew said.