VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Four people were arrested for bringing weapons on school property during a football game at a local high school over the weekend.
Virginia Beach Police Captain Scott Wichtendahl said the department received reports of criminal activity expected at the event. Sources close to News 3 tell us this was the Salem High School vs. Green Run High School game at Salem.
The captain said with little time to prepare, police seized nine illegally possessed weapons.
This weekend @VBPD received reports of criminal activity expected at a local high school football game. With little time to prepare, officers seized 9 illegally possessed weapons on school property and arrested 4 subjects. #DisruptingTheShootingCycle #SeeSomethingSaySomething pic.twitter.com/CIlur6HW6a— Captain Scott Wichtendahl (@SEWichtendahl) September 20, 2021
Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate added that this happened in the parking lot. He said VBPD's Operations & Investigations Division received information about "potential conflict between groups" at the game.
Tremendous work by @VBPD Operations & Investigations Division personnel who received intelligence about potential conflict between groups at VB high school football game Friday night. Precision police work recovered 9 illegally possessed firearms in the parking lot! https://t.co/oW1rgYKkco— Chief Paul Neudigate (@PaulNeudigate) September 20, 2021
Salem High School's principal emailed parents and students regarding this situation with the following message:
Good evening, Salem Families,
From the School Resource Officer program to supporting our Office of Safe Schools, the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) has been a steadfast and crucial partner with Virginia Beach City Public Schools in protecting our students, staff and property. As you have likely heard by now, police were in our school's parking lot last Friday night, arrested four individuals and recovered multiple firearms from vehicles.
We thank the VBPD for their vigilance and quick work in successfully averting a dangerous situation. Because of the nature of this investigation, and because there was no imminent danger to the community, information about what happened was not released to the public until Monday by the VBPD. It was not the purview of VBCPS to alert the public in a police matter. Our division leadership team is working with the VBPD to ensure communication channels remain open when any of their investigations could affect our school community in the future.
As always, we thank you for your support of Salem High School.
Leeane Turnbull-Pallette, Principal
According to police, the resulting investigation determined that this incident was not a credible threat and that the possible individual who communicated this information resided outside the Virginia.
While VPBD found no evidence of an impending act of violence, out of an abundance of caution, additional officers were assigned to patrol the parking lot of the game. During patrol, officers found firearms in plain view in three separate cars that were parked on school property.
Eighteen-year-old Hasan Malik Washington of Virginia Beach was charged with possession of a firearm on school property.
Eighteen-year-old Dameron Shaikeem Wright of Newport News was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm on school property and carrying a loaded firearm in a prohibited place.
Thirty-year-old Shaguille Romeo Felton of Norfolk was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm on school property and removing or altering a vehicle serial number.
Twenty-nine-year-old Julian Gregory Bryant of Virginia Beach was charged with possession of a firearm on school property.
Still, the incident had the family members of some who attended the game questioning why it took so long for the information to be released.
"I don't know why it took so long for them to report anything about it because my granddaughter went to that game last week. I'm wondering why they're just now reporting they found guns," said Emily Sanders, whose granddaughter attended the game.
A police department spokesperson acknowledged the original tweet has led to questions, but says the statement was released with the school division, which took longer to get final approval.
Police are planning to increase their presence for this Friday's game at Salem.