Richmond Police clear Gilpin Court triple homicide

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond police say they have cleared the triple homicide case that occurred in the Gilpin Court neighborhood last September.

Detectives have identified Marvin C. Eley, 28, of the 3200 block of M Street as a “responsible party” in the shooting deaths.

Officers were called to the 1200 block of St. Paul’s Street around 4:30 a.m. for a report of gunfire. Once on scene, they were directed to an apartment where they found the bodies of three adults. All had been shot.

The victims were later identified as Aaron Robinson, 50, of the 1200 block of St. Paul Street, Jenelle Smith, 26, of the 1200 block of St. James Street, and Cynthia K. Williams, 26, of the 1200 block of St. James Street.

While officers were attending to the first shooting, about an hour later, they heard gunfire close by.

Police responded to the 100 block of Federal Street, where they found Eley, who was shot lying on the ground outside of an apartment building. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No arrests have yet been made in connection to the Eley homicide and the motive and circumstances of that incident are still under investigation.

8News’ Aaron Thomas spoke with a resident who said she is stunned by the two shootings in the neighborhood she has called home for 12 years.

“It’s sad… It’s sickening,” said Rebecca Patillo, who lives in Gilpin Court. “I’m concerned not only for my kids, I’m concerned for a lot of people.”

Other residents say letting their children play outside can be unsettling. Patillo said she wants to see neighbors come up with a game plan to stop the crime.

“If they want to make it safer for their kids and also my kids, anybody…then they gotta come together,” Patillo said.

Richmond police amped up their patrols in the area, but Patillo thinks more should be done on a daily basis.

“Put our safety first sometimes, just don’t worry about it because we live in low-income housing or the kind of people that we are,” Patillo said. “Look out because not everybody is bad people.”

Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigations is asked to call Major Crimes Detectives M. Godwin at (804) 646-5533 or Det. G. Russell at (804) 646-7715 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at

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