‘They’re hurting’: Family members struggle to cope after Henrico woman killed by random gunfire

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A family is grieving “needs answers” after a 52-year-old woman was killed by random gunfire while sitting in a car near Gilpin Court in Richmond on Sunday.

The incident occurred at around 3 p.m. when Carmella D. Winston was shot while sitting in a parked car near the intersection of St. James Street and East Hill Street. She was transported to VCU Medical Center, where she later died from her injuries.


Family members tell 8News there were also three young children in the vehicle when Winston was shot.

“It just happened so fast,” Winston’s neice, Shamalda Witherspoon, told 8News Reporter Jonathan Costen. “Three kids!  Three freaking kids in the backseat, an eight-year old, a six-year-old and a four-year-old old. They’re hurting everyday, they did not want to go to sleep last night.”

Witherspoon said her aunt was an innocent bystander, and police also believe she was the victim of random gunfire.

0c40c89ef6cd4b99895ff63e36768549“They were just going to see family,” she said. “We need answers to what happened that day. Like, why all this shooting, all this killing for no reason?

“She was an innocent bystander. This woman loved everybody, helped and took care of everybody’s kids like her mama was right there. These three kids were in the car, we need answers; that bullet could’ve been anybody any one of them.”

Witherspoon added that the eight-year-old in the backseat shielded his four- and six-year-old siblings while yelling for his grandmother, the driver, to call 911.

Witherspoon and investigators are pleading for anyone who has any information regarding the shooting to come forward.

“We just want to know why and who,” Witherspoon said. “We need her to be laid to rest and justice will be served; it’s nothing more we can do without anybody else’s help. It’s three babies who are never going to have a normal childhood … This happened in front of them.”

Detectives ask anyone with information about this incident to call Major Crimes Detective Jeffrey Crewell at (804) 646-5324 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

Submit tips to GUN250 about persons illegally possessing guns by texting Crime Stoppers at 274637, then using keyword “GUN250” followed by your tip. Rewards up to $250. Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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