During the past three years, gunfire on a narrow block of Paxton Street with about 15 houses interspersed along both sides — many appearing abandoned, boarded up or marked by no trespassing signs — has claimed three young lives.
The latest to die was 17-year-old Genesis Salarae Horton, of Danville, on Friday evening.
Horton was found in the road near the intersection of Paxton and Jefferson streets, said Maj. Timothy Jones, of the Danville Police Department. Officers had responded to the 700 block of Paxton Street at about 8:50 p.m. to investigate a shots fired call.
That’s when they found Horton, who had multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, police reported. The teenager was transported to Sovah Health-Danville where he later died.
Curtis Williamson, 76, who lives in the 700 block, was in his kitchen baking a cake while his wife was in the living room watching television Friday night when they heard five or six shots ring out.
When he looked outside and saw someone laying in the street, he and his grandson rushed down the road. When they got to Horton, they heard him moaning. The police arrived soon after, and Williamson estimated an ambulance took 15 minutes to get there.
Williamson has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years, but he said he doesn’t remember much violence prior the last three years.
“If I didn’t own this house I’d move out of this neighborhood,” he said.
Both of the previous shootings on the block were suspected to be gang-related, but Jones said Saturday there are no signs of gang involvement in Friday’s deadly shooting.
In August 2018, Patrick Andreaus Gunn, 21, was found shot to death in the driver’s seat of his car along the 700 block of Paxton Street.
Williamson said a car chase culminated with Gunn’s car smashing into multiple vehicles before coming to a halt, at which point a suspect shot Gunn, exited the car and ran through the alley.
A 17-year-old Kurtyus Latrell Hairston later was charged with the slaying, in addition to a killing a day before. After pleading guilty, Hairston was sentenced to 50 years.
Nitaya Renee Adams, 16, a rising senior at George Washington High School, was shot in the back and later died at the hospital in August 2017. She was caught in the crossfire of gang warfare, according to court documents. So far, no suspects have been named in her killing.
Jones said he is not aware of any information that connects the three shootings, calling it “an unfortunate coincidence.”
One neighbor, who refused to provide his name, moved to the neighborhood three years ago and has been present for each of the three episodes of gunfire, and even had property damaged in the first two.
“There’s too many eyes looking this way,” he said.
Terence Cobbs, 19, spent lots of time with Horton, often having him and some other teens over to play basketball and hang out.
“Just want everybody to know he was a good kid,” he wrote in a Facebook message to the Register & Bee.
Salina Marie, 20, said she often saw Horton around town.
“[He] just was a very goofy person, always made everybody laugh,” she wrote in a Facebook message to the newspaper.
Jones said Saturday afternoon there were no suspects or witnesses, but the investigation was still ongoing with detectives out canvassing the area looking for anyone with information.
Anyone with details should call 911, Danville Crime Stoppers at (434) 793-0000, the detective division at (434) 799-6508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information given will remain confidential.
Ayers reports for the Register & Bee. Reach him at (434) 791-7981.