RICHMOND -- Gunfire left a woman dead in the street Thursday and ended what had been five months of relative quiet in what was once one of the nation's most dangerous cities.
The woman, whose name has not been released, was shot several times in her chest and torso, according to police. She was found just before 10 p.m. on South Fourth Street near Lincoln Elementary School, said Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov.
It was the first homicide in the city since Oct. 13, the longest span without a homicide in memory for a city that had 16 last year, a 33-year-low.
Police do not have a motive for the killing. Investigators said a burgundy-colored sedan with gold rims was seen leaving the area. Police Chief Chris Magnus posted on Twitter that police are looking for people who may have been in the car.
Abetkov said the woman had only one contact in the city and detectives are still trying to find her next of kin.
"They don't even know where to go yet on that," she said. "There's a lot of questions. Why was she there at that time of night? Did she know these people? Right now, we have no idea where to start, other than with the car."
Police also are still trying to determine whether the shooting was a drive-by or whether the assailants got out of the car, Abetkov said.
Richmond had not experienced a homicide since 33-year-old Samuel Morales was fatally shot while driving at Harbour Way and Ohio Avenue in October. In that slaying, the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office charged 37-year-old Richmond resident William Chamberlin with murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
"Obviously, we were hoping not to have any," Abetkov said, adding the five-month spell without homicides is the longest her department can remember.
Anyone with information on Thursday's shooting is urged to call 510-620-6647.
Staff writer Katie Nelson contributed to this report. Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.