NORFOLK, Va. - Four children are recovering after Norfolk Police said they were shot in the 900 block of Madison Avenue Friday afternoon. Police arrived at the disturbing scene at 2:04 p.m.
The youngest victim, police said is a 6-year-old girl who is suffering from serious injuries but was in stable condition by 6 p.m. Initially, a police spokesperson said the child had life-threatening injuries.
Three teens were also shot – a 14-year-old boy and two 16-year-old’s, one girl and one boy. They are all expected to recover from their injuries.
Police originally said five children had been shot, but they later released an update saying the total number of victims is four.
When officers arrived in the area, they did not immediately find any victims. A short time later, dispatch was notified of several gunshot victims who had arrived at local hospitals in a car.
One neighbor who did not want to be identified said she was inside her home when she heard at least seven gunshots ring out.
“I felt some boom and I was like I know they’re not shooting firecrackers in the middle of the day,” she said. “So, I got up, ran downstairs, looked outside. I saw a female shot. She was wounded. How ignorant can one be?”
When that neighbor looked out her window, she said she saw the teenage girl waiting for help, standing on Corprew Avenue just around the corner from where the shooting apparently happened.
“I guess she was just trying to remain calm,” the neighbor said. “There was another friend there that was assisting her.”
Police Chief Larry Boone said the shooting began after an argument broke out during a gathering. He believes it was possibly a domestic dispute and the suspect and teenage victims know each other.
“We have African American young folks, regardless of how they get the gun, some of the times it's illegal. Sometimes, it's poor management of a gun owner,” Boone said. “They're killing themselves every day across this state in this nation, and we seem to be just talking about it, and no real surgical efforts to address it.”
Boone said more needs to be done to keep guns out of the wrong hands, especially among young people in Black communities.
“This is a community thing; this is just not a police thing,” he said. “This is going to take real intervention with teeth. No one-offs, no photo ops, none of that. People are going to have to roll their sleeves up and do the hard work.”
Bilal Muhammad, the chairperson of Stop the Violence Team, said he and his team are ready to put an end to gun violence but they can’t do that without the community’s help.
“We got to take a stand,” said Muhammad. “The community should be involved and be more vigilant to address a situation like this or before it occurs.”
Friday’s shooting is the latest in a violent week across Hampton Roads with about 20 people shot and at least three people dead from gunshot wounds.
The recent violent crime mostly centers around young people.
“We want to address this as our children,” Muhammad said. “We want the community to know that they should have the same deep concern that it’s our children. Once we take on that type of attitude that the children belong to us, hopefully we’ll open our hearts up more and show more concern.”
Investigators believe they know who fired the shots.
Chief Boone said he’s confident they’ll arrest that suspect soon.
If you know anything about this shooting, you are asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or submit a tip online here.