Female passenger killed in apparent Richmond drive-by shooting

- A 20-year-old woman was killed Thursday afternoon in Richmond in what police suspect was a drive-by shooting, according to a police lieutenant. On Friday police identified the victim as Ronique Gardner-Williams, a Mill Valley resident. 
   
At 1:40 p.m., Richmond police received numerous calls regarding a vehicle collision at San Pablo Avenue and Hilltop Drive, Lt. Andre Hill said.
   
Responding officers found that the collision was the result of a vehicle being struck by gunfire. 
   
A woman in the front passenger seat was hit by the gunfire and was pronounced dead at the scene, Hill said. A man was driving and another was in the back seat, but no other occupants were injured.
   
A preliminary investigation suggested that occupants of an unknown vehicle might have fired at the victim prior to the collision, Hill said.
   
No potential motives for the shooting or possible suspects are yet known, according to Hill.
   
Thursday's shooting is the 19th homicide of the year for Richmond.

Hill called it "Very dangerous, very brazen. In the middle of the day. It's a possibility that somebody else in the vehicle was being targeted," he said. " It's early in the investigation and we have not determined that at this point."

Shoppers were aghast not only because this incident happened so close by, but also that it happened at all.

"It's just people don't respect life anymore. It's just... How can you kill someone? It's beyond me," exclaimed Kim Juarez of San Pablo.

"Greed is pushing our whole society and our whole culture. We've lost all sense of ethics and morals and the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you," said Cora Brown of Richmond.

For some, this shooting brought to mind what happened in Southern California.

"You know, this thing down in San Bernardino, my niece lives down there, and it happened three miles from her house. And it's just crazy," said Juarez. Brown added, "People have gone mad. I think the whole world has gone mad. I really do, it's madness."
   
On Nov. 17, a man was killed and a 5-year-old boy injured in a similar incident in which one vehicle fired into another in the 200 block of South 37th Street.
   
A week later, a drive-by shooting killed one man and injured two others in North Richmond, in the 1500 block of Fifth Street.

Police say there are similarities to three recent shootings on I-80, but they don't know if there's a connection.

They want to hear from anyone who saw anything at or near the intersection of San Pablo Avenue and Hilltop Drive on Thursday afternoon.

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