Tragedy struck the city of Richmond, Virginia, as gunfire killed an 18-year-old football player and injured his mother, who was also struck. Jessie Crumble Bullock lost his life on Saturday per the Richmond Police Department, which is now investigating the double shooting in the Gilpin Court housing project.
Bullock was reportedly on his way home from a corner store visit when suddenly someone started to chase him while firing a gun. Bullock made it home; however, the gunfire continued with bullets striking the teen and also his mother as she tried to stop the commotion.
The mother and son were rushed to the hospital, and unfortunately, the teen died shortly after.
“It’s just messed up right now,’ one of Bullock’s aunts said to local ABC News channel 8. “She wiped his face. She was trying to keep him comfortable. She was trying to help him breathe. I heard her on the phone talking to him, and it’s just not right. She got shot trying to protect him.”
On Monday, Bullock’s mother, Jessica Crumble, was eventually released from the hospital in the early morning hours, and she suffered a gunshot wound in her hand. However, now she has to deal with the more considerable pain of her lost son.
“My sister is all the way messed up,” the aunt continued. “She sat there and protected her baby and got shot herself. More than one time. Putting up her hand to stop gunshots from going into her baby.”
Bullock was a student who was preparing to play football in the upcoming season, according to a Richmond Public Schools spokesperson. Bullock just turned 18 in July.
“He played for Thomas Jefferson and was about to start at John Marshall. He was into sports and being a respectful kid,” the aunt said. “He was one of the sweetest kids I ever met.”
The team’s first game of the season is on September 2nd, and it is an away game against Brunswick in Lawrenceville, Virginia, an hour away from Richmond.
When comparing the Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond has a crime rate higher than 96% of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes, according to Neighborhood Scout. Gilpin Court, where Bullock lived, is a housing project. Former Richmond Commonwealth Attorney Mike Herring was one of the people leading the charge to demolish the housing project back in 2019.
“We couldn’t correlate it to the drug markets in the way that we used to be able to in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s,” Herring said to local NPR and PBS affiliate VPM back in 2019. “We had literally used every arrow in our quiver, that is us, the police department, city hall, to try to tamp down the violence.”
Other community activists have also been working on a solution to the violence.
“We are losing our youth at an alarming rate,” said Charles Willis, the executive director of United Communities Against Crime, to local news channel 8. “We are plagued by the gun violence. It’s like a pandemic. We are asking that all the school districts would consider having peer mediation, violence prevention and conflict resolution taught in our schools,” he said. “This is the type of crime that has to stop.”