RICHMOND, Va. -- Thanksgiving weekend was a four-day stretch of violence in Richmond.
17-year old J'mari Saunders was walking to the corner store two city blocks from his Mosby Court home on Accommodation Street Sunday night when he was killed.
"We've got to teach our children to value life,” said Pastor Rosalina Rivera of Richmond’s New Life Outreach International Church. “To continue to have death and to continue to lose life like J'mari's? We need to get in there and preach the value of life."
Crime Insider sources say Saunders could be a victim of a turf war that's currently playing out between Creighton and Mosby Courts.
His killing followed another shooting just a few hours earlier on the same street.
"Whatever the hate, whatever the bitterness, whatever is going on, I want to encourage people to come together,” said Rivera. “We have Christmas, Thanksgiving. We are all wrapped up in shopping and we have kids that are dying in the street."
Saunders at 17 had already graduated, and was signed up for the Marine Corps delayed entry program.
He was due to leave for Parris Island in South Carolina in March.
His family says he did everything he could to care for his mom and two sisters and was dreaming of a better life away from Mosby Court.
"J’mari was the man of the house,” said Rivera. “He helped his mother, in fact his goal was to help mom get a car and get out of that neighborhood. He took responsibility for his sisters even though he was still a young man himself."
Crime insider sources tell me detectives believe the Southside shootings have been random.
And those happening in the Church Hill area are the result of what's being called an ongoing turf war.