Violent Crime

* Richmond Family Of Highway Shooting Victim Urges Witnesses To Come Forward

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Family and friends of a Richmond man who was killed in a drive-by shooting on Interstate Highway 580 in Richmond on Tuesday held a news conference today urging anyone with information about the murder to come forward. “I’d like for you to know that my son Marcus Russell was somebody. He had his bouts with the law, but he had changed his ways,” Faith Russell said.She said her son had a 1-year-old daughter who he adored, a family that loved him and, since turning his life around, he had been working with children in the community to encourage them to stay in school and out of trouble.The 21-year-old also had a budding career as a rap singer. His first album “Eagles Fly Alone,” was released in February.Marcus Russell’s older sister Ashley Russell, 23, said she remembered her brother’s “first little rap song about tennis shoes,” but said her brother’s music had come a long way since then.”He wanted to get out of Richmond following his music,” Ashley Russell said. Faith Russell said she had no idea who would have killed her son or why, but she did not want people to assume he was involved in gang activity or that he was killed in retaliation for something he had done.The shooting happened at shortly after 4 p.m. on eastbound Highway 580 just before Bayview Avenue. Marcus Russell and his 20-year-old girlfriend had just left the Richmond Marina, where they had been doing a photo shoot for a new album cover, when a full-sized red van pulled up alongside them. The shooters, described only as two black men, fired at least 12 rounds directly at Marcus Russell from the van, police said. Both victims were taken to a local hospital, where Marcus Russell died. His girlfriend is expected to survive, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said. Faith Russell said she hoped that somebody on the highway that afternoon caught a glimpse of the shooters or remembered a piece of the van’s license plate.She also said if she could talk to her son’s killers, she would tell them that killing her son “was a senseless act and this kind of thing needs to stop. We’ve lost too many young men.” “This madness has got to end,” Rev. Andre Shumake said. “We have got to develop the capacity to live and let live.” Shumake urged anyone who was angry and thinking about killing someone to give that person a pass.”We know that hurt people hurt people, but we have to develop the ability to give them a pass,” Shumake said. “We’re being robbed of our children,” Patricia Ballard, a friend of the family, said.She said a lot of the people killing each other in Richmond grew up together and, in many cases, their parents had grown up together as well, but not even the parents were willing to come forward with information.Ballard’s son, Brandon Young, 19, was gunned down in June at a bowling alley in Pinole in front of about 100 witnesses. She said the police and the community knew who killed her son, but nobody has been willing to come forward and identify him as the shooter.Marcus Russell’s album is available at Rasputin Music stores. All the proceeds will go into a fund set up for his daughter, according to Ashley Russell.

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