Wednesday’s hit-and-run death of a young Chesterfield County woman brought several dozen of her loved ones together Sunday evening in Shockoe Bottom to remember her. Shanice Woodberry, 22, died from injuries suffered when she and several others were struck by a car last week in the 1700 block of East Main Street in what police said was a homicide.
A 21-year-old woman was arrested Friday in connection with the death.
Woodberry’s parents, Robin Lewis and Shakim Woodberry, were among the speakers at a gathering of family and friends at 17th and East Main streets, within sight of the block where Shanice was hit by the car.
Lewis told the gathering how much she loved her daughter. “I miss painting her toes ... I miss my little best friend, my little best friend with no money,” she chuckled.
Then, speaking more seriously, she said: “I’ve got to bury my daughter. I don’t know how I’m going to do it.”
Shakim Woodberry, who lives out of state, said, “As I drove five hours to come to this situation, I said to myself, ‘I can’t have hate in my heart. I can’t walk in hate. I have to walk in love.’”
He said he can say, “I forgive her. I can say that, but I’ve got to keep coaching myself.”
Many in attendance at the vigil, organized by Charles Willis, executive director of United Communities Against Crime, held pink balloons, wore pink clothing or, like her parents, wore T-shirts with a photo of Shanice, her name and the dates of her birth and death.
Woodberry, a Monacan High School graduate, worked at a group home for people with mental disabilities and was planning to attend J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in the fall to start the nursing program.
In the hours prior to her death, she was with friends at the Image Restaurant and Lounge at 1713 E. Main St. Reports said there had been an altercation outside the club not long before the pedestrians were struck. Police responding to the scene of the accident shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday found two women and a man who had been hit by a car.
They were rushed to a hospital, where Woodberry died. Another woman suffered life-threatening injuries. Some in attendance at the vigil on Sunday said the woman is now in stable condition.
Police later learned that a fourth person had taken herself to a hospital after being struck in the same incident.
Two women who were said to have been hit by the car and some witnesses were present on Sunday evening, but none spoke.
Shiauna M. Harris, 21, whose address was unavailable, was arrested as a suspect on Friday by Richmond police. She was in custody in the Richmond jail on Sunday, but the charges she is facing were not available. She was arrested an hour after police publicly named her.
“I’m going to let the law handle it and I’m going to let God handle it,” one of Woodberry’s uncles said Sunday evening.
“I love my niece so much. I never thought I’d see my niece on a T-shirt,” he said.
Willis said Woodberry’s mother wanted to have the vigil. “She said, ‘We want to make a statement that her daughter Shanice Woodberry is loved.’ She has a big family. She wasn’t just some young girl hanging out in the street,” Willis said.
He said, “This person that did this tragedy took off running like a coward.” Because of help from the public, there was an arrest, he said.
But two people have been lost, Willis said — Shanice Woodberry and the person responsible for her death. “There’s another young person that may not see the streets for a long time. And that young person needs help also. So we are praying for her family.”
Shakim Woodberry said, “I don’t know what to say. I don’t have a blueprint on this.”
“You never, never, never want to get that phone call like that. Six o’clock in the morning. You never want to get that phone call,” he said.