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Mother of man shot dead in Hill District burying 2nd child lost to gunfire

Megan Guza
| Monday, April 6, 2015, 11:27 p.m.
Christopher Richardson
Christopher Richardson

Jacqueline Graham was too distraught to talk Monday as she planned the funeral — for the second time — of one of her children.

Christopher Richardson, 20, of West Oakland was gunned down in the Hill District on Sunday. Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said Richardson was driving with two other men when someone opened fire on the car.

Graham could not speak but acknowledged that Richardson was her son and that her daughter was killed by gunfire in 2008.

Shalane Graham was 20, had a young daughter and was two months' pregnant with a second child when she was fatally shot by her cousin, Deaundra Williams. Williams was sentenced in 2011 to up to 67 years in prison.

Shalane's brother Christopher was 14 at the time.

He grew into a football player, making Clarion University's football team roster in the fall 2013 semester, the team's website shows.

He graduated from Sto-Rox High School in 2012, where he played inside linebacker and fullback.

“He was a good teenager, a good leader and a good person,” said Dan Bradley, former Sto-Rox assistant football coach. “He was able to laugh and joke, even about himself.”

On the field, Bradley said, Richardson was all business.

“He was very intense on the field,” he said. “He treated every practice and drill like it was a real game situation. He was very competitive. He was very physical.”

An officer who was standing outside the Zone 2 station heard gunfire about 5:20 p.m. Sunday and went to investigate, Toler said. Police found two wounded men near Dinwiddie and Wick streets and Richardson dead of a gunshot in the torso on nearby Kearney Way.

Toler said Richardson was the driver of a silver Volvo hit by gunfire.

The names of the two men wounded have not been released. Toler said they were taken to a nearby hospital, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

A victim of a second, separate shooting on Sunday was found on Burrows Street. He was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, Toler said.

Richardson was the first homicide in the Hill District since the fall.

Mayor Bill Peduto told Tribune-Review news partner WPXI that he worked with Jacqueline Graham after her daughter's murder to build a playground dedicated in her memory. Peduto served on City Council at the time. Shalane's Play Yard is in West Oakland.

“I know Jackie through the loss of her daughter several years ago,” Peduto said. “We worked together to build a playground in her memory, and now, again, she's going through this tragedy that no parent should have to go through.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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