8News Investigation Update: Midlothian Turnpike violent crime turnaround

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An 8News investigation last year found Midlothian Turnpike to be the area in the city of Richmond with the most gun violence.

But after following up with police, 8News has learned things are changing in the area.

Homicides are down 67 percent, robberies dropped 44 percent and there’s been a dramatic decrease in overall shootings, down 83 percent.

It’s quite the turnaround for an area once riddled with sirens and flashing lights.

Our 8News investigation last year found that 150 crimes involving a firearm happened in the area between 2012 and 2016,

Chris Plummer knows that all too well, he’s been a victim of the gun violence.

“He said, ‘I ain’t playing’ and he threw it back he pulled a gun out,” says Plummer as he describes the crime.

His Capitol City Cuts Barber Shop was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight.

“There was probably about seven or eight people cutting at the time when he came in. He said to fill the bags up,” explains Plummer.

The tipping point for police came in January of 2016 when a person was murdered inside the Richmond Inn nightclub.

“In that nightclub, there was approximately 250 patrons and a shooting occurred on the dance floor in that nightclub,” says Richmond Police Commander Captain Chris Gleason.

Manpower on Midlothian was increased, police responsiveness stepped up and officers began to work on building relationships with the residents and business owners.

“It is having consistent officers working this area so they are out here on a constant nightly basis making contact with citizens, creating that trust,” Gleason said.

The old K-Mart here on Midlothian Turnpike is not the sight of several gun shows.  To help with the effort to curb the gun violence, police have been teaming up with the gun show operators to make sure firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“We really want to focus on the education piece to make sure prohibited individuals from owning firearms are aware of that as well as protecting people’s second amendment rights,” explains Gleason.

Still, Plummer says police can only do so much.

“As a community, we got to take it upon ourselves to teach the kids. When they come in here we just talk to them,” says Plummer.

Other trigger spots in the City revealed in our 8News investigation were Chamberlayne Avenue, Jeff Davis Highway, Hull Street Road  and North Avenue

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