Moral Low Ground


12-Year-Old Amiya Moses Among 3 Killed in 5 Richmond Shootings in 24 Hours

December 21, 2015 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment with 0 Comments
Amiya Moses, forever 12. (Photo: United Communities Against Crime)

Amiya Moses, forever 12. (Photo: United Communities Against Crime)

Police in Richmond, Virginia are investigating five separate shootings that left 3 people, including a 12-year-old girl, dead and four others injured within a 24-hour-period over the weekend.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the day of violence began at 1:14 a.m. Saturday in the 6500 block of Midlothian Turnpike when 42-year-old Anthony Herndon was shot and mortally wounded in the parking lot of the Midlothian Inn Motel. Police believe the shooting was drug-related or a robbery. Herndon was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:24 a.m.

Later on Saturday, police received a call at 6:28 p.m. reporting gunfire in the 23000 block of Carmine Street in the East End. Upon arrival, officers found two wounded gunshot victims in a grassy area between apartment buildings. A third wounded victim was found nearby. Jaquan Clark, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene. The injured men were rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police have no motive for the shootings.

While officers were still working the East End crime scene, they were alerted at 8:05 p.m. about a shooting in the 1600 block of Spotsylvania Street. There they found a 17-year-old boy who was shot in his lower extremities. His injuries were not life-threatening. Police said it was the third time the unidentified teen had been shot this year. Officers believe the shooting was drug-related or a robbery.

At 9:28 p.m., police were called to the 4900 block of Old Brook Road, where 12-year-old Amiya Moses had been shot and mortally wounded when she was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting outside her home. Moses was rushed to VCU Medical Center, where she later died.

The final shooting occurred at about 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, when police were called to the 2400 block of North Avenue after an adult male was shot and wounded. He is expected to recover.

The three homicides over the weekend brought Richmond’s annual total to 38, a slight decrease from the 42 homicides registered by the same date in 2014. Moses’ slaying has sparked particular grief and outrage in the capital city of 214,000 residents.

“She celebrated her 12th birthday just 17 days ago,” Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said of Moses. “Instead of planning for Christmas and the holidays, the mom is planning a funeral for her baby.”

Chief Durham and Mayor Dwight Jones told reporters they are “working around the clock” to find and arrest those responsible for the wave of weekend shootings.

WWBT reports two suspects have been arrested in connection with Moses’ killing.

Dwight Jackson, 20, and Shaquille Maxwell, 20, face conspiracy to commit murder charges. Durham said relatives of the suspects convinced them to turn themselves in.

“Once we identify folks, you can run but you cannot hide,” said Durham. “You will be caught. This senseless violence going on in the city has to stop.”

Durham added that it is up to members of the community to change the deadly culture of settling disputes with guns.

“A lot of folks today do not know how to resolve conflict… they resort to violence,” he said. “We have to change that behavior.”

Meanwhile, loved ones of those killed over the weekend mourned their losses and prepared to bury their dead.

“I couldn’t even talk. I couldn’t breathe. And all because somebody wanted to be a fool, they took my daughter’s life,” Kele Wright, Moses’ mother, told Fox6Now. Wright remembers her daughter, a sixth-grader at Henderson Middle School, as a child beloved by all for her bright personality.

“My baby was going to be in lights. She wanted to sing. She wanted to dance,” Wright said.

“This crime has to stop. It has to,” she added. “I have to get ready to bury my 12-year-old daughter. I have to put my daughter six feet under. It’s not worth it.”

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