Virginia woman shot to death on visit to St. Albans

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A young Virginia woman visiting St. Albans on Labor Day weekend was shot three times and killed in the early hours of Monday morning, police sources said. Neighbors said the shooting may have occurred at a block party.

There were no arrests or known motives for the crime as of Tuesday, police said.

At about 3:31 a.m., police responded to a 911 call of a woman shot at 119-23 202nd St. in St. Albans, police said. The woman, Chanel French, 21, of Lake Crest Road in Virginia Beach, Va., was found with two shots in the torso and one in the left leg, police said.

A resident of 202nd Street who identified himself only as having the last name Taylor said he called in the shooting with his son as did a woman who was driving by the incident. He said he awoke early on Monday when he heard shots fired in the neighborhood. He and his son called 911 to report the shots. After he called, he saw French lying in the street outside a neighbor’s house.

“She tried to get up, but she fell back down,” Taylor said.

Another neighbor, who lives on 120th Avenue and asked that her name not be used, said the shots also awakened her. She said she believed the shots came from a block party playing loud music on Nashville Boulevard around the corner from 120th.

“I heard three shots and I jumped back from the window,” she said.

The neighbor said she saw French run down 120th Avenue and up 202nd Street, pursued by two males. Afterward, she said they fled the scene in a gray SUV with a woman. She said she tried to get the license plate number, but could not.

The police confirmed the perpetrators were believed to have driven away from the scene in an SUV, but could not confirm their sex. The police also could not confirm whether or not French was shot at a block party.

Police said EMS responded to the scene and took French to Franklin General Hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y. She was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

Taylor said the neighborhood is usually quiet, but block parties have brought unknown people into the neighborhood.

“You don’t know who is coming, what they do,” he said.

The neighbor who saw French run down the street said the neighborhood had once been a nice, quiet place until recent years.

“I hope they find them suckers,” she said. “I’m serious. I really do.”

French’s family could not be located.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 6:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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