ShotSpotter helps lead Virginia Beach Police to 'quick arrest'

Virginia Beach Police generic.jpeg
Posted at 7:27 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 00:03:01-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach Police Department is the second agency in the Commonwealth to install ShotSpotter, behind Newport News.

The technology uses acoustic sensors to pick up sounds and help lead police to exactly where triggers are pulled.

Monday, News 3 learned it helped VBPD make a quick arrest.

According to Virginia Beach Police, around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, officers in the city's Northridge neighborhood were on patrol when they heard a gunshot. News 3 was told a ShotSpotter alert came in simultaneously related to gunfire in the 5300 block of Virginia Beach Boulevard.

Officers found Kenyatta Mabine, 22, who admitted he had just fired a round from his handgun. Police also found one spent shell casing near Mabine's parked car.

Mabine was taken into custody and charged with reckless handling of a firearm and discharging a firearm in a public place.

VBPD Chief Paul Neudigate tweeted Monday afternoon, "Great job by 3rd precinct using ShotSpotter technology to identify shooting incidents in the city and hold individuals accountable."

News 3 first talked with Chief Neudigate about ShotSpotter back in July when police announced it was operational in the Oceanfront area.

"It allows us to be laser-focused [and] reduce our harm in the community," Neudigate said. "We hear a lot of talk in the community that there's continual gunfire at the Oceanfront. Well, now we'll have proven data to show whether that's accurate or not."

News 3's I-Team also recently sat down with Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew.

"I think technology also plays a role in investigating crime, how we respond to it and hopefully how we deter it," Drew told News 3.

NNPD was the first police department in Virginia to install ShotSpotter in July 2019. Since then, through September 30, 2021, the technology has been associated with 390 offenses within the city.

"Sometimes people don't call, and that concerns me that if you're so used to the gunfire, you don't even call? We may not know anything about it until after," Drew said. "If they don't call, or maybe the police don't show up, that's concerning to me."

"ShotSpotter has just been very, very valuable for us," Drew added.

News 3 is working on getting numbers related to VBPD's use of ShotSpotter.

Click here if you'd like to see our original story with Chief Drew about ShotSpotter's impact in Newport News.