Murder house (1989)

08/05/2012 8:10 AM by

Black and white photograph of a boarded-up two-story frame house at 2224 E. Jefferson Avenue in Church Hill; the city evicted the residents after a recent murder was committed there. The house is in violation of many building codes, and is a source of criminal activity, police say; image shows the home with debris piled in the front yard and a sagging front porch.

Michael A. Carr, 29, was shot and killed after an altercation at 2224 Jefferson Avenue at 5:40PM on January 25, 1989. Carr’s death was the city’s 9 homicide of the new year. There would be 2 more before January was over, and the final tally for the year would be 102.

Shortly before or after Carr’s shooting, Henry Michael Ward, 26, of the 500 block of North 28th Street was found shot in the head and lying in a pool of blood in a back bedroom a house at 2224 Jefferson Jefferson Avenue; he survived.

The revolver used in the shooting had previously been taken from the glove compartment of Patrolman Lynell Jefferson’s car in the 1400 block North 30th Street. The gun was recovered when Lennae Samuel Owens, 24, of the 1000 block Hickory Street was arrested at 22nd and M streets about an hour after the shootings.

At the time, the Times-Dispatch reported that the police had linked 2224 Jefferson Avenue to eight incidents of criminal activity since April 1984, and that the structure had also been cited for at least 35 housing code violations. The house was owned at the time by Dr. Adams, a local dentist, who said he “was not directly involved in the management of the building and said he was unaware of the incidents of criminal activity there”.

From a January 26, 1989, Times-Dispatch article on the shootings:

Both Church Hill shootings were within two blocks of Po Joe’s Pool Parlor, where one man was killed and several others seriously wounded in a shooting on Oct. 10. A man with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol opened fire through a window.


Mildred Jones, who lives in the house at 2224 Jefferson, said she was waiting outside on the porch when the shooting occurred. She said the gunman “comes here. He calls me his grandma.”

At the time of the shooting, “I was waiting for a ride to a bingo game” in a chair on the front porch, Mrs. Jones said. “(The gunman) walked by me and spoke, and went inside the house.”

The man was inside the house for only a few minutes before he walked out, across the porch and up the street, Mrs. Jones said. Moments later, someone inside the house “told me to call an ambulance because (the gunman) shot Michael.”

Mrs. Jones said she didn’t hear any shots and didn’t notice whether the man had a gun. The suspect and the victim knew each other, she added.

“He comes here (almost) every day,” Mrs. Jones said. The suspect and the victim used to watch wrestling programs on television together; the victim was watching wrestling when he was shot, she said.

“We’ve never had no problems like this,” Mrs. Jones said. “I can’t understand nothing like this.”

The house sold in May of 1989 for $14,300. It has in recent years been renovated and expanded, and is assessed at $295,000.

The photos above are from the Valentine Richmond History Center Collections Database. The are credited to Jay Paul and Don Pennell, respectively, of Richmond Newspapers, Inc.

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