Thursday, February 18, 2010

15 year old arrested in Connection With Church Shooting in Richmond California

Richmond police Thursday arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with a brazen shooting at a Richmond Church during a Sunday morning service.The boy is one of three suspects sought by Richmond police. The suspects -- all Richmond residents in their late teens or early 20s – have remained at large, and an intense search has been under way.At least three search warrants were served Thursday, but only one arrest was made around 7 a.m.The boy was charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, but police would not say if he was one of the shooters inside the church.Police said the shooting might be gang-related but no motive had been determined.A portion of the shooting was caught on camera by a church member who was taping the choir at the time of the attack. That chilling video was given to KTVU. The video shows the congregation, including a man with a young child in his lap, clapping their hands as the choir sings. Suddenly, there is gunfire."You just see a bunch of people... when they started running in, all I could do is tell the choir get down!” said choir member Pam Odom. “And we all fell to the floor. And that was it, it happened so fast."Meanwhile, outrage within the community has continued to mount."We have reached a new low in the city of Richmond," said Rev. Andre Shumake, a local anti-violence advocate."Until we start addressing the issues of these young people's pain, we're going to see more of this happening."The drama began Sunday when three male suspects entered the New Gethsemane Church of God In Christ at about 12:30 p.m. where about 100 people were inside attending the service. Witnesses have told police the three young men strolled down the aisles apparently searching for their victims as the services continued undisturbed.One of the suspects then began shooting at several members of the congregation, according to Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French.French said the teens struck by gunfire were believed to have been targeted, but the shooting does not appear to be gang or drug-related.There have been seven homicides in Richmond so far this year. Just last week a mother of two who was six months pregnant was killed as she sat in a car in front of her father’s home. The fatal shooting came on her son’s birthday.