RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Three men have been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s shooting at The Belt Atlantic apartments on Midlothian Turnpike that claimed the life of a young mother and her 3-month-old daughter, and sent three additional victims to the hospital.
On Wednesday, City of Richmond Police charged Donald Hemmings, 22, Shyheem Martin, 23, and Sha-Mondrick Perry, 19, with conspiracy to commit murder. Additional charges are pending.
Earlier in the day, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and the city’s Police Chief Gerald Smith provided an update on the mass shooting that happened on the city’s southside.
Police identified the victim who was killed during the shooting as 30-year-old Sharnez Hill. Her 3-month-old daughter was also shot and died later at the hospital. Donte McCutchen, Hill’s cousin and Pastor at Love Cathedral Community Church, identified the child as Neziah Hill.
McCutchen said that following the shooting, the mother was taken to Chippenham Hospital and her daughter was taken to VCU Medical Center.
A 29-year-old woman and two young girls, ages 11 and 15, were also shot during the incident and remain in stable condition.
McCutchen said the 11-year-old who was injured is Sharnez Hill’s niece. The Sharnez’s grandmother has identified the 11-year-old as Sharnez’s niece and her great grandaughter, Deniya Hill.
According to Richmond Public Schools, the two girls were students in the district, and that George Wythe High School and Westover Hills Elementary School are the two schools that have been most impacted by the shooting.
Mayor Stoney said this type of incident continues to happen in the city. He said Richmonders are now left to pick up the pieces.
“It’s a tragedy when a mother and now a child is gone because of indiscriminate gunfire without any regard for human life in a neighborhood. This is where people live,” Mayor Stoney said.
Chief Smith called the shooting a “very unfortunate incident,” saying that the gunmen opened fire into a “quad full of children” at The Belt Atlantic apartment complex on Midlothian Turnpike.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, Chief Smith said the five females were innocent bystanders who were outside enjoying the nice weather in a large courtyard when the shooting happened.
“Our detectives have reviewed multiple cameras that were out there at this apartment complex … we have multiple leads that we are following up on,” Chief Smith said.
Richmond Police recovered three guns at the scene, an assault rifle and two handguns. Chief Smith said detectives are making progress in this case.
“At this time we do not believe that they were the target of these shootings,” Chief Smith said.
Richmond Police officers responded to the mass shooting around 6:30 p.m. at the apartment complex which used to be called the Midlothian Village apartments.
Authorities believe the gunmen were targeting a single apartment but ended up striking two adult women, two teenage girls and the 3-month-old girl.
City leaders are urging anyone with information to come forward by calling (804) 780-1000.
FULL VIDEO OF WEDNESDAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE