Man, woman killed in Richmond homicides

A man was killed in a shootout about 90 minutes beforeĀ a woman riding her bicycle was fatally shot in Richmond on Saturday night, police said Sunday.

A suspected gang member, identified as 26-year-old Melvin James, was killed in a shootout in the 900 block of Lincoln Avenue at 7:55 p.m., according to interim police Chief Allwyn Brown. James was pronounced dead at the scene.

His 29-year-old brother was also wounded in the incident, but was driven away from the area. Police eventually found him in a home in the 100 block of 17th Street. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive, police said.

Police are continuing to investigate and suspect the motive for the shooting was gang-related, according to Brown. Witnesses told police that the shooting suspects fled in a gray Nissan Altima.

Also on Saturday, Kori Shanelle Mattie, 19, was shot and killed by while riding her bicycle near the Civic Center Motel at 425 24th St. at 9:24 p.m., police said.

Witnesses told police that she was shot by the occupants of a newer-model white four-door Honda Accord occupied by four male suspects. The driver fled north on 23rd Street.

There were two shooters, both black men between 25 and 30 years old, police said. The first is heavy set and was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a dark hat, police said. The second is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall and was wearing dark clothing.

The motive for the shooting remains unclear, but police do not suspect the two shootings are related.

In a letter to city officials, Brown said investigators are concerned that recent shootings could potentially lead to further retaliatory violence between the city’s gangs.

All of Richmond’s homicide investigation resources were devoted to the violence on Saturday night and special investigators have been called in to watch for signs of retaliation, Brown said.

They will be working with partners in the city’s Ceasefire program, a gun violence prevention approach that involves coordination between multiple law enforcement and community organizations, as well as the FBI Safe Streets Task Force to prevent any escalation in gun violence, Brown said.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents as been asked to contact Richmond police Detective Wentz at (510) 621-1259.