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Neighborhood on edge after Lyft driver killed; teen neighbor arrested for murder

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Just as the news of a murder in the Providence Creek neighborhood stunned people living there, learning that the teen suspect lives on the same street is sending another jolt through the community.

Some neighbors, who only felt comfortable talking off-camera, said this is the last thing they’d ever imagine happening in their neighborhood.

“It’s scary, especially in this neighborhood. I’m shocked by that,” one woman said.

For her, the fear really hits home. She doesn’t live far from 18-year-old Bernard Smith who Chesterfield Police arrested for second-degree murder as well as a gun charge.

Bernard E. Smith

That neighbor says when she heard that the victim, 79-year-old Franklin Farrens, was a Lyft driver, she couldn’t help but think of her own husband.

“My husband is an Uber driver and this guy was a Lyft driver. So we are... I am nervous about him being out there," she said.

Crime Insider sources confirm the Lyft app was used to summons Farrens before his murder. He was shot to death 25 miles from his Chester home.

"My husband is also out there like that, coming home at 3 or 4 in the morning. It’s scary because it’s what my husband does too,” said the woman.

Neighbors have been checking their security cameras for footage that may help police investigating Farrens’ murder. His car was seen on a nearby home’s RING camera rolling down Providence Creek Road and hitting parked cars before coming to a stop.

CBS 6 also obtained other footage capturing a person running from the direction of Farren’s car down the street, then turning around running back towards the car.

CBS 6 obtained footage capturing a person running from the direction of Farren’s car down the street, then turning around running back towards the car.

Neighbors just can’t make sense of it all and say they’ll be watching the case closely. That includes Frances Coleman who works as a home health aide for a family in the subdivision.

She says she’s glad police made an arrest, but she knows this whole ordeal will be on many neighbors’ hearts for a long time.

“It really has shaken them up and I know if they don’t have their own security cameras now, they’ll put up some. I think they’re very nervous,” Coleman added.

Smith is being held without bond. His next court hearing is set for March 2, 2020.

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