Richmond police responded to the apartment complex around 6:30 p.m. and found two adult women, two teenagers, and a three-month-old infant suffering from gunshot wounds, according to reports.
The victims were taken to a hospital, where one of the women died, police said.
Police Chief Gerald Smith said gunmen opened fire on the group and gunfire was returned.
"It’s just a heinous act that baffles the mind as to why anyone would do this in a quad full of children just out enjoying themselves," Smith said, according to Richmond's WWBT.
It was unclear at this time who returned fire, police said. A motive was also unclear, but authorities believe the gunmen were targeting a single apartment and not a person, the station reported.
The shooters are currently at large, Smith said. He called on the community to come forward with answers.
"Someone knows who did this act. They know," he said. "There’s too many people out there, too many eyes, too many connections for people who live here not to know who did this."
Virginia's medical examiner's office will determine the manner and cause of the woman's death, reports said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.