General Crime

* Juan Villa-Zarco Named as Richmond Shooting Murder Victim

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A man killed in south Richmond on Monday night in a double shooting has been identified as 25-year-old Juan Villa-Zarco, a Contra Costa County deputy coroner said today. The coroner’s office was withholding the name of the second victim this morning because her family hadn’t yet been notified of her death.  Villa-Zarco, a Richmond resident, and the second victim were shot at about 10:55 p.m. on Carlson Boulevard near South 47th Street, Richmond police said.  The two victims had been heading north on Carlson Boulevard, but were stopped at a stoplight when an unknown suspect fired several shots into their car, police said. The two drove on for several blocks until they reached Potrero Avenue, where they crashed into a parked car.  Villa-Zarco was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The woman was taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead. The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, and no suspects have been identified, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said today.  The shootings bring the city’s homicide total to 30 so far this year, two more than the 28 homicides reported in all of 2008. Ten of this year’s homicides have happened in July, French said. The shooting Monday night followed a fatal shooting Friday night
at the Hilltop Mall that killed 15-year-old Richmond resident Joseph Coleman and seriously injured a second person. Coleman, who had just turned 15 in June, graduated this year from DeJean Middle School, according to Marin Trujillo, a spokesman for the West Contra Costa Unified School District. The Rev. Andre Shumake, who has been actively working to end the violence in Richmond through the Ministry of Violence Prevention, said that he didn’t know Coleman personally, but had heard that the teenager was a good athlete with a promising future. He played basketball and baseball and had been getting ready to play in a regional basketball tournament scheduled for Saturday when he was gunned down shortly after 7 p.m. as he came out the mall’s south entrance.  “It’s just devastating,” Shumake said.  Shumake and other faith leaders in Richmond have been meeting with people from North Richmond, Central Richmond and the South Side of Richmond to come up with a strategy with which to address violence in the city. Police, meanwhile, have continued to increase patrols in the neighborhoods where the shootings have been happening, French said.  Anyone with information about the shooting Monday night is asked to call Detective Gus Vegas at (510) 621-1244. Those with information about the Hilltop Mall shooting are asked to call Detective Darrel Graham at (510) 621-1276. People can also call the Richmond police homicide unit at (510) 620-6612, or, to remain anonymous, the 24-hour tip line at (510) 232-TIPS.

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