Mar 1, 2016
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Four alleged gang members (pictured) were arrested and two loaded guns seized as part of the Richmond Police Department’s response to recent violence in the city, including the broad-daylight killing of a 14-year-old Kennedy High student on Monday.

Officers patrolling the Iron Triangle neighborhood about 8 p.m. Monday night saw a car driving at a high rate of speed on 6th Street, Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said.

The officers recognized the car to be linked to some of the most recent gun violence activities, Tan said. While officers attempted to stop the car, the driver continued to drive, leading to a short vehicle pursuit that ended a few minutes later near Richmond’s Kaiser Hospital, Tan said. Two occupants fled the car on foot, while two other occupants remained with the car.

Following a brief foot chase and a brief violent struggle, all four suspects were taken into custody.

They were identified as Raymond Smith, 21, Damon Crawford, 24, Jyvante West, 22, and Kevin Chatman, 24. Police said all the men are “confirmed gang members from Richmond” who were arrested and booked for firearm, probation and parole violations along with gang enhancements, Tan said.

A loaded .40 caliber semi-auto pistol was found on one of the suspects and a loaded 9MM semi-auto pistol was found inside the car.

An officer sustained moderate injuries during the struggle with the suspects.

The arrests came after an outbreak of gun violence. At 9:23 a.m. Monday, police responded to a fatal shooting on the Richmond Greenway, just north of 3300 block of Ohio Avenue, where they found 14-year-old Xavier McClanahan fatally wounded. The killing was followed by a drive-by shooting later on Monday near Nevin Community Center that injured one person.

On Saturday, Leslie Graham Jr. 39, of Richmond, was killed in a freeway shooting on Interstate 80 in Richmond.

No suspects have been charged in connection with the shootings.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.