Second teen arrested in Richmond church shooting

February 22, 2010 5:38:34 PM PST
Richmond police have arrested another young person in connection with a brazen shooting inside a church on Valentine's Day but, they say the gunman is still out there.

The shooting, during Sunday services, ignited a real community spirit. Police revealed Monday that a 16-year-old boy was taken into custody over the weekend. Members of the congregation say they until the shooter is caught, they will be relying on their faith to keep them safe.

"We believe in God," says Pastor Archie Levias. "He got to protect us."

The shooter is still on the loose and the congregation at the New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ is scared, but they continue to pray, even for the three young men in dark hoodies who walked into the church and opened fire in the middle of Sunday service.

Two teenage brothers attending church were wounded and more than a week later only one of the suspects is in custody.

"It's very good they caught him, but the church feels sorry for those boys and for their mothers and parents because somebody needs to help them," Levias says.

Richmond police arrested a 16-year-old Saturday during a patrol stop. He is now in juvenile hall on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime. A 15-year-old arrested last week facing the same charge has been released for lack of evidence.

Investigators are not saying what the motive is or how the 16-year-old boy is linked.

"We do believe he was somehow involved. We don't want to get into his level of involvement or what we believe he did in the church," says Sgt. Bisa French.

Police still have a warrant for the arrest of the shooter. All investigators will say is that he is an adult from Richmond.

On the first Sunday after the shooting, it was a packed house. The shocking attack has galvanized the church's members and even some who are not members, like Morris Legrande. He went from his church in Hayward to help organize "Operation Richmond," a plan to hand out 10,000 bibles and rally for peace in this community.

"Enough is enough and we just are not going to stand for this as a body," he told ABC7.

The call to action begins Saturday, when hundreds of people from around the community and different churches throughout Richmond will head out into some of the toughest neighborhoods to pass out bibles and have a very frank discussion about violence in the city.

On March 6, hundreds more will gather at The New Gesthsemane Church for a march and a rally.