Mothers of children shot at Buckroe Beach speak out

Posted at 3:19 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 22:33:22-04

HAMPTON, Va. - It was the perfect summer evening: Music on the pier, kids having fun on the playground and beach goers strolling in the sand.

"We picked up some of her friends, grabbed some pizza and headed to the beach to celebrate her birthday," said one mother.

But in a moment, Buckroe Beach in Hampton was littered with police after gunshots rang out, bullets hitting four people.

"The bullets started whizzing past us, we just heard the whoosh," said a mother of a 7-year-old girl.

One hit the little girl who was celebrating her 7th birthday with friends on the nearby playground.

"I was trying to get down, but the bullet hit me because they are fast," the 7-year-old told News 3 as she sat with a bandage on her upper arm.

Heather Shipe was sitting on a neighbor's deck near 1st Street, enjoying a drink and people-watching when she was almost hit by the gunfire.

"We heard what sounded like fireworks - very rapid, pow pow pow," Shipe explained.

A bullet missed her head by inches, the imprint now on vinyl siding.

"I was in tears. I was not a happy camper. It really didn't set in until the next day, and I was like, 'Wow, my life could have been taken from me last night,'" Shipe explained.

This was an unimaginable ending to what was supposed to be a happy birthday celebration and a laid-back summer evening.

"I don't understand why you would do something like that in an environment where there is nothing but children and families gathering together," said the mother.

Hampton Police say four people were shot Saturday around 8 p.m., including Kreetay Briggs Jr.

Briggs' mother said the 12-year-old was shot in the back, and he was taken to CHKD in critical condition. Thursday night, his mother told News 3 her son is out of surgery and that his breathing tube was taken out.

She said there were no complications with the surgery and as of Thursday, they do not have any more scheduled.

"When you see officers out and about, you feel a net of safety because you would think no one would do that with police right here," the mother stated.

Hampton Police say the two adults, ages 31 and 52, who were also shot Saturday are expected to be OK.

One of the victim's family members told News 3 there will be a prayer vigil at the Jersey Park Apartments basketball court at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 29.