UPDATE: Authorities won’t say if Leigh Street shooting victim was armed
Published: April 23, 2009
Authorities today declined to say whether a man shot and killed on East Leigh Street yesterday was armed.
Police say they arrested a Virginia Commonwealth University student and charged him with fatally shooting Jamall Holman of the 1700 block of Forest Glen Road in Henrico County as Holman was trying to break into a red Honda Civic that belonged to the student’s girlfriend.
Authorities charged Eric G. Driver, Jr., 25, of the 500 block of North 22nd Street with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the shooting in the 2100 block of East Leigh Street about 4:30 p.m. yesterday.
Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring said today that Driver was charged with second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder because the shooting was “more of an overreaction” than a premeditated killing.
Herring said it is illegal to use deadly force to protect property. “If someone’s stealing your property,“ Herring said, “call the police.“
Holman “had broken into a vehicle” and Driver confronted him, police spokesman James Mercante said in a release. This “led to an altercation resulting in the shooting of Holman,“ Mercante said. The girlfriend was present, but authorities declined to say whether she was in the car or being threatened.
Police would not say how many times Holman was shot or what weapon was used.
Driver is being held in the Richmond City Jail pending a bond hearing Monday.
Victims’ advocate Alicia Rasin, who lives in the area, said she heard the gunshots and thought it was a car backfiring.
“It was very shocking for me to drive up on it, to see somebody lying there,“ she said.
Rasin said it was the first time someone has been killed in the area in the more than 50 years that she has been living there.
“It’s peaceful. The neighbors get along with each other,“ Rasin said. “This was very shocking but very sad. I don’t know what happened, but I feel as a Christian I still have to pray for that young man, pray for them all.“
Anyone with information is asked to call the Richmond Police Tip Line at (804) 514-TIPS or Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.
(Staff writers Melodie Martin and Reed Williams contributed to this report.)