Despite the arrest of a man in a nearby carjacking, Richmond police say the killing of a 3-year-old boy, who was shot while playing outside his family’s Hillside Court apartment last Saturday, remains unsolved.
“We need more,” Detective Joseph Fultz, who is heading the investigation into Sharmar Hill Jr.’s slaying, said Friday, one day shy of a week since the killing. “There are others involved in this. This is more than one person.”
Fultz said his team of detectives believes there were two groups of people shooting at each other, and Sharmar was “just an innocent person, little person” struck by a stray bullet.
A lot of attention has centered on one man: Antonio L. Harris, who was charged with a carjacking in the area the day before the shooting. But Harris has not been charged in connection with Sharmar’s death, nor any of the three other reports of random gunfire in the hours leading up to the fatal shooting around the corner, near where Harris was supposedly staying while under home electronic monitoring for charges in a second, earlier carjacking. Fultz said at this point, it’s unclear what role he played, if any at all.
“He’s not exonerated from this,” Fultz said of Harris.
But Fultz said he worries that since news of Harris’ arrest made headlines, people might not come forward with information.
“When a person gets picked up, they think that it’s immediate that ‘Oh, he did that’ or ‘She did that,’” the detective said. “See, that’s not the case. We’re still investigating this.”
Police are not only hoping to locate multiple shooters, but also others who might have witnessed the exchange of gunfire. Fultz said there were many folks outside in the 1700 block of Southlawn Avenue in Hillside Court last Saturday around 4 p.m. when the shooting happened and he hasn’t heard from them.
“If you saw what happened, I don’t know why you’re not already down here,” Fultz said. “Don’t do it for me. Do it for the little kid and do it for his family. ... That little kid was just out there playing. He wasn’t doing anything. He was doing what kids do.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fultz at (804) 646-3929 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.