All of this has been taking place a few blocks from where I live although it hasn’t really been that big of a deal. A lot of people in the area are worried about a public shooter or Charlottesville-like incident happening, but so far nothing like that has occurred.
During the past two months, the block surrounding the Robert E. Lee statue has transformed into ground zero for Richmond’s racial justice protests. Anywhere from a half-dozen to hundreds of visitors have occupied the grassy circle and the nearby median strips 24 hours a day, blanketing the statue’s base in graffiti and filling the air with noise, including gunfire.
One Monument Avenue resident had feared for his safety for weeks, so he installed two surveillance cameras above his front porch. His cameras captured the sound of gunshots on the night of July 30 — one bang, then three in succession, then one more. The next day, police announced that they had recovered an assault-style rifle, four magazines and a clip. They found an SUV with what appeared to be bullet holes in its rear.