There is an active investigation underway at several locations
“VBPD is investigating a shooting involving several victims with possibly life-threatening injuries. Large police presence at the oceanfront between 17th and 22nd St. Please avoid the area at this time,” the department tweeted Friday evening. They were patrolling the 1900 block of Atlantic Avenue in a resort area when shots rang out around 11 p.m. When police got to the scene at least eight people had been shot, according to Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate.
The victims’ injuries range from serious to life-threatening. One Virginia Beach police officer went to the hospital with minor injuries. One woman died at the scene, police said in a statement. While police were investigating, gunshots were fired about a block away, resulting in “an individual being confronted by a uniform Virginia Beach police officer,” Neudigate said. This resulted in a police-involved shooting. An alleged male suspect is dead, authorities said.
There were multiple locations where gunshots were fired.
A second person was killed in a separate nearby shooting, Neudigate said, but police don’t believe it was related to the first two shootings.
“What you can see is we have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night in the beach. Many different crime scenes,” Neudigate said.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that catalogs gun violence in the U.S., 104 mass shootings have occurred in 29 states plus Washington, D.C. in 2021 so far, not counting this latest indecent in Virginia Beach. They define a mass shooting as four or more people shot or killed in a single incident, not including the shooter.
No suspect has been identified.
And no arrests had been made at the time of the briefing, but the chief said several people were in police custody.
“This case remains under investigation by members of the Department’s Homicide Unit,” the police statement read.
In the police-involved shooting, “As standard procedure, the officer involved will be placed on administrative assignment pending the outcome of the investigation. The involved officer is assigned to the Special Operations Division. The officer has been with the department for 5 years.”
Police did not offer a motive for the shootings but said anyone with information is encouraged to call Virginia Beach Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).
Because the crime scene is “still very active with several crime scene areas blocking roadways,” police are asking that people avoid the area until the situation can be assessed in more detail.