Woman shot dead outside Westover Hills Elementary School

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In less than 24 hours, police responded to two separate reports of gunfire near Richmond Public Schools.

A woman was killed after gunshots erupted during an altercation outside Westover Hills Elementary, 1211 Jahnke Road, on Friday, police said.

Police said officers were dispatched to report two armed individuals at 2:17 p.m., shortly before the students were collected from school. The building was placed in containment.

The woman was taken in a personal vehicle to the hospital, where she died, police said. His name has not been disclosed. No other injuries were reported.

After the scene was secured and the lockdown lifted, the school proceeded with a dismissal in the parking lot of the Family Dollar in the 1200 block of Westover Hills Boulevard. Students could be seen quickly boarding buses, clutching backpacks and being escorted to parents and guardians.

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  • Woman shot dead outside Westover Hills Elementary School

A hotline has been made available to parents to ask questions about the dismissal.

The shooting occurred the afternoon after an Armstrong High School football game was interrupted by apparent gunfire.

Police responded to the school, 2300 Cool Lane, at 9:15 p.m. after receiving multiple reports of gunshots, officials said.

The game against Patrick Henry High School in Hanover County was called off and the area evacuated. No injuries were reported.

Police said on Friday the shots came from the nearby Fairfield Court apartment complex.

There is no indication that Thursday’s or Friday’s incidents are linked, but Richmond police spokesman James Mercante said each shooting had a significant effect on the community.

“These shootings happening in the city really affect everyone, whether you’re involved in a shooting or, in both cases, you’re in close proximity to the shooting,” he said.

Richmond School Board member Jonathan Young, whose district includes both Armstrong and Westover Hills, said students had to face the consequences. His neighborhood also includes Huguenot High School, where a 17-year-old walking towards a bus stop was shot dead in September.

“Regardless of what they heard or saw, they need to come to school next week knowing what happened outside of your school,” Young said. “It’s no way to live, and it’s certainly no way to raise children. It is unacceptable.”

Said Young of the Westover Hills shooting, “My heart is bleeding for this lady. My heart bleeds for all the kids inside this building who have been through this.

Young encouraged the school board and city officials to do more and hold themselves accountable.

“The next steps, I pray, is a serious reassessment of who we are as a city [and] who we are as a school district,” Young said. “We know about this extraordinary increase in crime in Richmond, and it seems to me that people would be invested in identifying cases where disproportionate crime is not being adequately dealt with.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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