Lincoln Plair was gunned down around 3:40 p.m. Monday in the 600 block of Sixth Street, according to police.
Officers responded and found him suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene and is the city's second homicide victim of the year.
Plair was murdered just a couple of blocks from the Elm Playlot, a city park in Richmond's Iron Triangle where he volunteered daily for local non-profit group Pogo Park.
The Richmond-based organization is working to rebuild the playground to provide a place for children to play in the impoverished neighborhood, according to its website.
Pogo Park founder Toody Maher said Plair could be found at the playlot at 8 a.m. each morning cleaning out the sandboxes, sprucing up equipment or working on other park projects.
The young man brought his gentle, kind spirit to the organization when he began volunteering there over a year ago, Maher said.
In addition to helping maintain the playlot, Plair would play with the neighborhood children who made their way there in the afternoon. "When the kids are here, he's like a big kid himself," Maher said.
He also loved to ride his bicycle and wash cars, she said.
Plair's peaceful nature made the news of his killing on Monday all the more shocking to those who knew him.
"His killing was totally senseless, he didn't have a quarrel with anybody -- and everybody knows that," Maher said.
She said tonight's vigil at the park and a march to the spot where he was killed should be a chance for friends, family, fellow Pogo Park associates and the neighborhood kids who knew him to honor his life.
On Saturday, Pogo Park and other community members will hold a car wash to help raise money for Plair's family, which is now faced with mounting funeral costs. U.S. Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez, is expected to attend.
The young man's father, who raised him and is now in his 70s and disabled, is "catatonic with grief" in the aftermath of his son's killing, Maher said.
Plair was his primary caretaker, she said.
Tonight's vigil will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Elm Playlot in the 600 block of Eighth Street. The fundraiser car wash is set to run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the same location.