Three men were killed and three others injured in a series of shootings across South Hampton Roads Sunday night into early Monday morning.
The shootings occurred in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Suffolk over a span of about 18 hours. Only one arrest has been announced, with the suspect being charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling. Police have not released suspect information the other five incidents.
Gunfire began before sunset at a vigil Sunday evening. As about 200 to 300 people gathered to remember a Norfolk man shot to death earlier in the week, more bullets began to fly, causing many in the crowd to drop to the ground or start running.
The vigil in Berkley Park was being held to remember the life of 22-year-old Marvin J. Milton Jr., who was shot and killed late Wednesday night, near an apartment complex in the Crown Point neighborhood.
One man was shot in the hip, Bilal Muhammad, leader of the Stop the Violence organization in Norfolk, told The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk police say the man is expected to recover.
Friends and family of Milton began gathering at the park’s basketball court around 6 p.m., said Muhammad, who was one of the speakers at the event.
About five people had spoken at the vigil when the gunfire began, Muhammad said. Among the speakers was Milton’s girlfriend, who is pregnant with the couple’s child, due to be born in August, he said. Muhammad was lighting candles when the first shots were fired around 7 p.m.
“It was so quick,” he said. “The majority of the people hit the ground and some of the people started running.”
The man shot in the hip was the only person reported to have been struck, Norfolk police spokesman Will Pickering wrote in an email.
Muhammad said he didn’t see anyone with a gun. But he guessed that there was more than one used, based on the sound. “Some (sounds) were kind of light and some were more powerful,” he said.
A second shooting happened in Norfolk’s Olde Huntersville neighborhood.
One resident in the neighborhood said he heard 20 or 30 shots outside his home late Sunday night. Another said the gunfire she heard was “so rapid you couldn’t count.”
On Monday morning, police found one man dead, according to the Norfolk Police Department.
It was unclear if the man was killed in the barrage of gunfire residents heard Sunday night. Police were called to the 800 block of Fremont Street at 10:40 a.m. Monday, the department said in a Twitter post. Police have not released the victim’s identity.
Police tape encircled the scene throughout the afternoon Monday — roping off roughly a block where Fremont Street intersects with Hunter Street.
Several residents, who described the events to a reporter but did not give their full names, said the gunfire began hours beforehand. One man, who lives down the street from the shooting location, estimated the shots started around 10 p.m. Sunday.
Another resident, Michael, estimated that as many as 30 shots rang out.
“It was last night when I first heard it,” said Michael, who preferred not to give his last name.
Near police tape boundaries, bullets had pierced at least two vehicles — shattering one back windshield and leaving behind a bullet hole in another’s door. Less than a block away, a sign planted at the intersection of O’Keefe and Fremont streets urges people to “stop the violence.”
“Whatever prompted this homicide, the gun is what made the difference. If there hadn’t been a gun in the picture, somebody would be alive today,” Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi, who was at the scene, said Monday afternoon.
Just after midnight, an 18-year-old man was killed in Virginia Beach, police said.
The shooting happened in the 100 block of Sea Cove Court of Atlantis Apartments, in the Seatack neighborhood of the city. Officers found the victim, Javion Jarvis, of Virginia Beach, at the scene and took him to a hospital where he died of his injuries, said Virginia Beach police spokesperson Melissa Johnston.
Police charged Leionte Smith, 21, of Virginia Beach, in connection to Jarvis’ death. Smith is charged with discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling, though police said other charges are pending.
Monday afternoon, there were no obvious signs of the fatal shooting that occurred roughly 12 hours before as neighbors milled about the apartment complex, which is laid out in a U shape encircling a children’s playground.
Another shooting happened later Monday morning.
Gunfire was initially reported to emergency dispatchers at 6:04 a.m. in the 3600 block of Sylvan Lane. A short time later, another report came in about a shooting on the 1000 block of Autumn Woods Lane, according to a Virginia Beach police spokesperson.
While the scenes are 8 miles a part, police said the incidents are related and only one man sustained injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Police provided no additional information about the circumstances of the shootings Monday.
In Suffolk, a 22-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday in the 100 block of Nancy Drive. Emergency dispatchers received multiple calls about shots being fired in the location, off Carolina Road, at 8:21 p.m. Police said Deshawn Maurice Bazemore, Jr. was killed in a shooting that also left several vehicles and apartments damaged by gunfire.
Just after 12:30 p.m. Monday, Suffolk police were dispatched to another shooting, in the 400 block of Hunter Street, about a mile from the scene of the first shooting. Upon arrival, police located a man with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening. He was assessed at the scene by Suffolk Fire and Rescue before being transferred to a local hospital.
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