The Richmond Police Department has charged a man in connection with the fatal shooting on Thursday night at the Rite Aid across from Broad and Belvidere Apartments.
Quintin Washington, 28, shot Marquis J. Richardson, 18, in the store’s parking lot around 7:30 p.m., according to a release sent by Richmond Police Department spokesperson Gene Lepley. An argument led to the shooting, Lepley said. Washington has been charged with voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Neither the shooter, nor the victim is connected to VCU.
A VCU alert sent around 7:37 p.m. told students to stay inside or avoid the area near Broad and Belvidere streets. Police said there was no threat to the broader VCU community, according to a VCU alert. The shooting had no apparent connection to VCU, said VCU Police chief John Venuti, who was at the scene.
Even so, students weren’t far from harm’s way. VCU student Nicholas Sterns was on his way home from rugby practice in Jackson Ward when he saw the shooter.
“We saw a black van pull around the side (of Rite Aid), we heard gunshots happen really fast,” Sterns said. “I see a guy in a white shirt and red athletic shorts flexing with a gun nearby. I’ve never seen a shooting before.”
At least five VCU students were inside the Rite Aid at the time of the shooting.
“We heard at least four shots and a lady and her kid came running into the store covered in blood,” said sophomore Samantha Mellinger, an eyewitness.
“We were scared and didn’t know what to do so we took cover,” said sophomore Veronica Robertson, who was also in the store.
Some students did not receive any alerts about Thursday night’s shooting.
“This is just shocking,” said junior Shannon Minor. “I haven’t heard a thing from VCU. No texts, no alerts, no emails. I’ve heard nothing about a shooting right now and that’s even scarier.”
Other students received the alerts but didn’t find the information helpful.
“We had a shooting this morning in Washington, the Navy Yard shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting,” said junior Cyrus Kingdom. “It happens so often now. I need to know more in these alerts.”
The joys of VCU…crime alert notifying you that there is a shooting right off campus. #notleavingthehouse
— Kelley Rose (@KelleyRose12) October 3, 2013
How comforting. A VCU alert telling me to avoid broad/belvidere & to go inside… That’s literally right around the corner from me.
— Julia (@JuliaXo_23) October 3, 2013
Damn they’re taping off the spot with crime scene tape and I just got that VCU text….definitely not the place to be
— Brandon Abell (@b_abell) October 3, 2013
Bout 20 cops ambulances and fire trucks near rite-aid on broad plus a VCU alert pic.twitter.com/tkgSLsbLJ8
— Leanne (@leanne_vm) October 3, 2013