“Violence Is Spinning Out of Control”

Richmond crime scene. Photo credit: WWBT NBC 12.

by Jon Baliles

On Wednesday, CBS6 Crime Insider Jon Burkett gave an interview to John Reid on WRVA about the rising and scary number of shootings happening all over the region, most of them in the city.

He noted that as of Wednesday morning there had been 12 shootings in the previous 7 days, and 10 just in the previous 5 days, with two murders.

He talks about how a lot of it is driven by feuds on social media and then gives a scary quote: “Credit the surgeons at VCU — if we didn’t have them, we’d be in really big trouble,” while also noting that their job in the ER is the “equivalent to a combat surgeon.”

He goes into more detail and talks about one woman who was interviewed whose brother had been murdered and she wondered why he was even out on the street – he had 13 serious felonies on his record. Burkett also said he was threatened by someone in a passing car while he was conducting an interview following a shooting. Does it feel like we are turning or have turned things around?

Below are most of the headlines regarding shootings in the region over the last two weeks that show it is not turning around. They are becoming far too common and awful to read about, and hiring violence interruptors isn’t going to solve the problem. Sources tell me with the retirements and 150+ existing vacancies, the lack of any confidence in the Chief by anyone except the Mayor, and the much smaller recruiting classes, it could take the better part of a decade to get back to the low crime rates we had from (roughly) 2006-2019. Anyone that was here in the 1980s and 1990s knows it was not a good time, and the name of our city was synonymous with crime and violence.

Sat., Oct. 7
Man injured in shooting along Hull Street Road

Teen arrested with gun at George Wythe High, charged in Southside Richmond shooting

Mon., Oct. 10
Richmond woman kneels, begs community to ‘stop killing’ after losing two family members to gun violence
“I’m saddened and I’m angry. I’m saddened because it’s another life gone to the streets,” McMullen said. “The love that we normally get from our kids, we’re not going to hear that anymore from the souls that’ve been lost to the streets.”

Wed., Oct. 11
Man fighting for his life following shooting in Richmond’s southside

Suspects Sought in South Laurel Street Shooting
Witnesses reported the male in the t-shirt assaulted a female at the scene followed by the male in the white tank top shooting the victims.

Thur., Oct. 12
Catalytic converter theft victim shot during robbery in Henrico

Fri., Oct. 13
Video shows customer fire gun into fast food drive-thru

Richmond mother says young son tackled little sister to keep bullet from striking her inside home

Man critically hurt in Manchester shooting

Sat., Oct. 14
Football game evacuated after shooting near Armstrong High School

Parents react to shots fired near Richmond football game

Richmond mother shot and killed outside of an elementary school

Deadly shooting in pick-up line outside Richmond school happened 1 hour before dismissal

Chesterfield Police investigating shooting early Saturday morning

‘Pretty shocking and a little but frightening’: Neighbors react to attempted catalytic converter theft that led to shooting

Sun., Oct. 15
Two men suffering life-threatening injuries after shooting

Police identify Richmond man killed in early Sunday shooting

Sun., Oct. 16
Shooting near Boys and Girls Club leaves 3 men hurt

Police: Man killed in Shockoe Bottom; 2nd person shot arrives at hospital

Mon., Oct. 17
Two people killed, 10 hurt in eight Richmond shootings: ‘Violence is spiraling out of control’

Crime Insider sources share new details about shooting outside Richmond elementary school

Tue., Oct. 18
Man killed at Henrico apartments

‘Something needs to be done’: Another violent weekend in the city of Richmond
“My kids can’t go outside and play,” said Richmond resident Melanie Vasquez-Garcia. “My kids can’t go outside and enjoy themselves.”

One firearm found this month at George Wythe High School in Richmond

Man hospitalized in shooting on Laburnum Ave, Henrico police investigating

A weekend of tragic violence begs the continued question, where are the violence interrupters?

Wed., Oct. 19
Body of teenager found in Richmond trash can, Crime Insider sources say

Mom prays, advises daughter after school stabbing: ‘Keep your eyes open’

Eight months later, Richmond announces updates on violence interrupter hiring process

Thur., Oct. 20
JV football game between Armstrong and Atlee canceled after recent shootings

Student found with gun at Chesterfield high school

Student found with knife at Thomas Jefferson High School

Jon Baliles is a former Richmond city councilman. This article has been republished with permission from his blog, RVA 5X5.


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59 responses to ““Violence Is Spinning Out of Control””

  1. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    Sooner or later, realization will arrive that more police is not be the solution. Fewer firearms would help.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Right, it’s not people killing other people, it’s the Constitution that’s the problem. You New Yorkers are unteachable.

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        Since we are the only developed country with such a Constitution and we are also the only developed country with such a high death by firearms rate, maybe it’s you Conservatives who are obtuse.

        1. Lefty665 Avatar

          Who you calling a conservative you half a troll short of a full load? I am profoundly independent, and I do hold our Constitution in high esteem.

          You confuse coincidence with causality and rejection of your foolishness with a political position. Somehow neither is a surprise.

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Coincidence suggests causality it certainly does not exclude it. On this point you are decidedly Conservative.

          2. Lefty665 Avatar

            BS, you’re more than half a troll short of a full load.

            The Bill of Rights and the Constitution are not possessions of the Conservatives. They belong to all of us, and if we are even half bright we will preserve them for our children and grand children.

            Your inability to distinguish coincidence and causality says more about your lack of perception than either coincidence or causality.

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            In what way did I not distinguish coincidence and causality? Your stance that the 2A is sacrosanct is as Conservative as it gets. Own it!

          4. Lefty665 Avatar

            My stance that the Bill of Rights, all of them, are sacrosanct is as mainstream as it gets.

            You are the one who is besotted with political motivations. You would be well served if you occasionally got out of the echo chamber you live in. If you made an effort to break your obsessive addiction to woke ideology you might be amazed with the joys of independent life.

            As difficult as it is for you to comprehend many of the rest of us are not condemned to a dreary life of addictive political ideation like you are.

          5. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            “You would be well served if you occasionally got out of the echo chamber you live in.”

            You know this is a Conservative blog… sheesh, black is white to you guys…

          6. Lefty665 Avatar

            This blog has nothing to do with the delusional echo chamber you inhabit. My observation was in the interests of your mental health, not about your sketchy estimation of the orientation of this blog.

          7. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Of the two of us, it is you who is currently hanging out in an echo chamber… certainly not me…

          8. Lefty665 Avatar

            Ha ha ha.

            Oh goody. Please give us more silliness, it brightens my Monday:)

            You’re not satisfied with being half a troll short of a full load. Now you’re horning in on Jim McCarthy’s “silly walk” territory. But that’s ok, the two of you share lots of foolishness.

            Will y’all do a silly 3 legged walk for our entertainment? Maybe something like woke equity while peeing on the Bill of Rights?

            ps, It seems this blog is more Libertarian than “Conservative” as you call it. It is not surprising that nuance is beyond your comprehension.

          9. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Libertarians are just Conservatives who are embarrassed to be seen with the other Conservatives.

          10. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Libertarians are just Conservatives who are embarrassed to be seen with the other Conservatives.

          11. Lefty665 Avatar

            Sorta like Progressives and Liberals?

            But, a nice “Libertarians are embarrassed Conservatives” silly walk. Keep at it, you’re a natural.

            Your failure to understand the political spectrum is unsurprising, you’re short of a political full load too. In the rehab world we called that the “clustering of disabilities”. Where there’s one there’s often more.

          12. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            It is clear you have been in and out of the rehab world quite a bit. In the real world, we would call you a “one trick pony”…

          13. Lefty665 Avatar

            Actually, I worked in rehab for many years.

            One of the things we understood was that people needed to be “rehab ready” before there was any hope of helping them. That means that they had to accept that they had a disability and were interested in ameliorating it.

            If they were in denial, as you are, there was not much hope for progress. That did not mean we just enabled the disabled behavior without comment. OTOH, there were some opportunities to enjoy “silly walks”. Please keep it up, there’s more Monday morning to fill.

        2. Donald Smith Avatar
          Donald Smith

          It’s not conservatives who are shooting each other. The communities with the highest death rates from shootings vote reliably Democrat.

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Tell that to the citizens of Jacksonville. The homicide rate in Democratic San Francisco was half that of Bakersfield, a city with a Republican mayor that overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

            These are the top 10 most crime ridden states based on murders per 100,000 residents:

            Mississippi
            Louisiana
            Kentucky
            Alabama
            Missouri
            South Carolina
            New Mexico
            Georgia
            Arkansas
            Tennessee

            Notice a trend?

            The most dangerous city in Texas is run by a Republican…

            I can go on…

          2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Tell that to the citizens of Jacksonville. The homicide rate in Democratic San Francisco was half that of Bakersfield, a city with a Republican mayor that overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

            Two of the top three most dangerous cities in Oklahoma have Republican mayors. None are run by Democrats.

            These are the top 10 most crime ridden states based on murders per 100,000 residents:

            Mississippi
            Louisiana
            Kentucky
            Alabama
            Missouri
            South Carolina
            New Mexico
            Georgia
            Arkansas
            Tennessee

            Notice a trend?

            The most dangerous city in Texas is run by a Republican…

            I can go on…

          3. Yes, and the most dangerous city in eight of the ten states on your list are run by democrats. And 23 or 24 of the 25 most dangerous cities in the country are run by democrats.

            And, since local government has primary responsibility for public safety within a given locality, from the standpoint of violent crime, it matters more who is running the local government who runs the state in which the locality resides.

          4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            “…it matters more who is running the local government who runs the state in which the locality resides.”

            That must be why nine of the ten safest cities in the US are run by Democrats then… makes sense….

  2. Omg…

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    When the only tool you have is a handgun every problem looks like a silhouette

    A 73-year old man and his 15-year old son just started blasting away at some poor woman in her car because they thought she was a man they thought tried to break in their house. Crime, crime, crime.

    OBTW,the man was a neighbor who was delivering a FedEx package that was mistakenly left at his house.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      A 73 year old with an adolescent kid has already demonstrated profoundly defective judgement. He taught it to his kid too.

  4. Donald Smith Avatar
    Donald Smith

    And y’all wonder why I’m not that upset about the Confederate statues leaving Richmond. They made their bed…

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Surely you are not suggesting that having a Confederate general overseer…

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        less Confederate statues = more crime? sounds about right in the minds of some!

        1. Donald Smith Avatar
          Donald Smith

          If this is how the folks who currently live in Virginia’s cities—and especially who run them—want to live, then at some point all you can do is shrug your shoulders. Virginia city dwellers are lying in the bed they made.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            works like that for northern cities also?

            😉

          2. Donald Smith Avatar
            Donald Smith

            No idea what you mean by that.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            ” And y’all wonder why I’m not that upset about the Confederate statues leaving Richmond. They made their bed.”

            well maybe explain the above then.

      2. Donald Smith Avatar
        Donald Smith

        Truly, yours is a dizzying intellect.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          This from a man whose idol is the fragged flotsam of institutional slavery.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            makes sense……

          2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            It was dark on May 2nd. Same thing happened to Phil Kearney at Chantilly. Except Kearney was attempting to command a regiment of rebels in the middle of severe thunderstorm. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c5136d26342a7ef4ebf9ecb8510c1d5df841618987d24acda72a71d8027a5f1.jpg

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            War is Hell.

          4. Donald Smith Avatar
            Donald Smith

            Well, bless your heart.

  5. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
    f/k/a_tmtfairfax

    Maybe it’s time to push Three Strikes and You Are Out back as an active policy. And automatic no parole if a firearm is used in connection with any felony. Every state needs to take these actions. This is far from a Richmond-only problem.

      1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
        f/k/a_tmtfairfax

        Maybe we have more criminals or maybe other countries are more tolerant of crime.

        Let’s look at the 15-year-old from Raleigh who got a shotgun, pistol and knife and then killed his brother and four other people. How could anyone with an ounce of decency kill his brother? And then, would anyone with any redeemable qualities whatsoever follow up by killing other innocent people? Do you think he should be on the street or locked up? (Of course, the day of the killings, our moron President blamed it all on Assault Rifles.)

        There is evil in this world. Evil must be punished to protect the rest of society.

        I’m all for second chances especially for young people. But sometimes, people are so inherently evil that they simply must be locked up and kept away from the rest of us. If that results in high incarceration rates, so be it.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          anecdotal is not a true way to understand the evidence and facts:

          we need to face the facts and the realities if we are serious about understanding and doing something that works.

          We can’t be just fooling ourselves with stuff that we want to believe but is not true.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8a492cf3f805921bfb4f5671344d778101026f4149a3bab73774f297bafc75eb.jpg

          1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
            f/k/a_tmtfairfax

            So how do you get guns out of the hands of criminals and would-be criminals while respecting the rights of law-abiding people to own guns? How do you address crimes committed with firearms? How do you address illegal sales and thefts of firearms?

            I see that the effort from the left is to go after law-abiding people while finding ways to keep criminals out of prison. It’s no different than those who want to stop all abortions.

            You seem concerned that the U.S. locks up too many people and there are too many criminal uses of firearms. To me, those positions seem inconsistent.

            I’m fine with background checks, a red flag law followed quickly with a court hearing, ditto for seizing firearms from people with evidence-backed record of domestic abuse, a lifetime bar against people convicted of violent felonies from owning guns, but also harsher penalties for using a firearm in the commission of a crime, strawman purchasers and illegal sales of firearms. How do you address criminal use of firearms without putting people in prison?

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            So you can put someone in prison who uses a gun in the commission of a crime sure enough but does that stop anyone from getting a gun and then doing the same thing?

            I am not in favor of keeping people from having guns to defend themselves.

            But we’re simply not serious about regulating them. We talk up a blue streak about it but then we have so many loopholes to evade those laws, it’s a joke.

            We sell guns to people who should not have them and make excuses about how the system did not work but we do not fix it.

            We sell weapons that can shoot 60 rounds per minute to teen-age boys with known problems and basically say unless they have actually done something we can’t prevent it so it happens over and over and each time we say ” hopes and prayers” and other dumb stuff but simply refuse to stop it before they can get the weapons and use them.

            It’s a lot like the immigration thing. We blather on and on about it but we do not enforce E-Verify and put the employers who do it out f business and in prison.

            So people come here any way they can because they know they can get a job because we do not do what Canada does which is a guest worker program with severe penalties for employers who violate.

            We talk a lot about guns and immigration but the folks who talk the most about it do nothing but make excuses and blame the other side.

          3. Donald Smith Avatar
            Donald Smith

            Larry, you and your crew need to lie in the bed you’ve made for yourselves. It’s obvious that, in too many Virginia cities, they are happy with crappy. OK—be crappy, then.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            Ya’ll need to deal with facts and realities Donald , not myths and wrongheaded beliefs. If we truly want to deal with the issue – we need to deal with the realities.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Bring back Project Exile. Additional charge for use of a gun in a crime that carries a mandatory sentence.

      1. Proven solutions to the problem are not trendy. Criminals behind bars do not commit more crimes on law abiding citizens walking the streets…. but putting criminals in prison violates their rights to ply their trade.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          During August of this year, there was an average of over 43,000 individuals confined in the Commonwealth’s jails and prisons.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          If one believes there is only a fixed number of criminals and not an environment where more and more are being created.

          If we have an environment where more are created even as we put others in prison, what happens?

      2. Anderson Stone Avatar
        Anderson Stone

        What do you expect when no real punishment??? Need to start hanging the killers! Not letting them back on the streets!

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Virginia has a three strikes policy. Also, not only is there no parole for use of a firearm, but a minimum mandatory sentence.

      1. Lefty665 Avatar

        We’ve been through this before, there is no requirement to charge use of a firearm in Virginia, and it frequently is not charged. Parole and minimum sentences are immaterial unless the firearm use is charged.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          Why would prosecutors be more likely to use Project Exile, if they, as you allege, are not using the current statutory authority?

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            There’s apparently a belief among conservatives that if you jail all the law-breakers, including the “new” ones growing in the high schools, there will be far less crime.

            I saw belief because I’ve not seen it actually done anywhere so far including in undemocratic countries and dictatorships.

          2. Lefty665 Avatar

            Exile was Federal prosecution. For crimes involving a gun it took the discretion not to charge out of the local prosecutors hands. It ain’t my allege, it’s fact. Go back and read your Richmond history of the time.

            There are things we can agree to disagree on, but what Project Exile was is not one of them. It was what it was.

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    There is violent crime and murder around the world. Just pointing to crime in a local area and claiming that proves that we have a unique problem that requires more police , etc… is a bit myopic as well as a refusal to deal with the realities – that are true around the world with a high correlation to 3rd world countries, and countries with high levels of poverty and lots of guns.

    Contrast that with most other developed countries with far fewer guns and far fewer police and far less crime but even in low crime countries, there STILL is some crime. It’s a human condition.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d36af23caf37976df5a9a8f79c8699f8ad829b3c606bb76ca60331d7c66251e1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c0cd5b661b26a33c4c4422ec82ff65f57d8cb127713e37be66128ad262f5383.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e586d7ad45568a84febdbfca2bcbbef792c533bbfb93cb365737a566f0d7035a.jpg

  7. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    The 17 year old dead in a trash can. For some reason that is the one crime on this list that is egregious to me and must be solved right away. Already second page news. Who mourns for Tamel Durant?
    https://www.nbc12.com/2022/10/19/richmond-17-year-old-shot-left-trash-can-identified/

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