RICHMOND, Va. - A growing memorial of bears and balloons sit at the OMG Convenience Store in the city’s East End where four people were shot.
The victims include 14-year-old Rah’quan Logan and nine-year-old Abdul Bani Ahmad, according to their families.
Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith announced a potential step towards justice for the killings of innocent boys.
“We are continuing to do everything we can to bring successful closure to this case and remains our top priority at this time,” Smith said at a Tuesday press conference.
Smith said officers worked sleepless nights since the Friday shooting to arrest and charge two 17-year-old boys and 18-year-old Clintoine Baker in connection to the shooting. The names of the 17-year-old suspects were not released.
Court documents obtained by CBS 6 showed Baker’s last known address as outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, but he told detectives he was staying with his child’s mother in the East End.
No one answered the door of the local address listed in the court documents.
Detectives wrote that the gunfire came from a car and hit the boys outside of the convenience store owned by Abdul’s father.
Abdul’s mother told CBS 6 on Tuesday that Abdul was with his 7-year-old brother and father running errands at the store when the shooting happened. She added her husband tried to stop the boy’s bleeding before he was rushed to the hospital.
She said these arrests won’t bring her son back.
“A weapon is not supposed to be with children. That’s very dangerous,” she said. “Kids, 17 years old, if they have a weapon, that means something is wrong with the country.”
Abdul’s mother said they came to the United States from Jordan to help provide better medical care to her austic son.
She said she did not know the suspects. She implored the elected leaders and city officials to help stop the gun violence.
“Why do children have weapons?” She asked with tears in her eyes. “A lot of moms hurt and I’m not just the only one. I hear every day, almost every week a teenager killed, a boy killed, like everywhere is killed. They have to work on it, they have to work seriously on it.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney applauded the police department's efforts to arrest the suspect and the plan to create a task force to help solve crimes like this one.
"It's my hope that we get the small amount of individuals who are causing this sort of loss of life in our city and bring them to justice. I'm proud to hear that the police department has done that," Stoney told reporters on Tuesday.
In an email to Abdul’s fourth-grade class, Short Pump Elementary’s principal said the death of a classmate may be traumatic to a child and asked parents to talk to their children about the shooting.
“The young man who died will be greatly missed at our school. He was a happy and thoughtful young man, and he brought a smile to the face of anyone who met him,” the principal wrote.
The school plans to honor the boy on Thursday and encouraged students and staff to wear blue, his favorite color.
Chief Smith would not elaborate on a possible motive. He said the investigation is ongoing and could lead to additional suspects.
Detectives don't believe the shooting was gang related.
The U.S. Marshall’s Regional Taskforce is offering a $5,000 reward for any additional information that can assist with the case.
“He was the one to bring happiness to the family and helped care for his autistic brother,” said Abdul’s uncle, Ahmad Bani Ahamd. “The gun violence we see in the city of Richmond is unbelievable.”
Rah’quan’s family and the Richmond chapter of the NAACP held a press conference following the shooting.
“I love him!” Logan’s sister said on Saturday. To this point, those are the only words the victims’ families have shared publicly.
“Children who really didn’t get a chance to play football yet. Children who really didn’t get the chance to go to a skating rink or bowling alley. Children who hadn’t even turned 18 yet. This is ridiculous,” said James “JJ” Minor, president of Richmond chapter of the NAACP.