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4 people shot, 2 others killed during weekend gun violence in Hampton Roads

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Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 16:44:25-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — A string of gun violence over the weekend in Hampton Roads injured several people and left two others dead.

Just before 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, Hampton Police say a juvenile was shot on W. Pembroke Avenue while he was in a parking lot. He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Later that night around 10:19 p.m. a 31-year-old man, Rakalee Sterling, was shot and killed inside a home on Shelton Road in Hampton.

Police say they don’t have suspect information at this time.

On Sunday, two people were shot on Churchland Boulevard in Portsmouth around 8 p.m.

Then, just before midnight, 40-year-old Newport News Johnathan Opie of Newport News was killed on Homestead Avenue in Hampton. Police say he was involved in an exchange of gunfire with a second man who was also shot but survived.

“In general, the majority of our incidents involved victims who are targeted victims,” said Sgt. Reginald Williams with the Hampton Police Division. “In other words, victims and offenders who are in some capacity associated with one another and sometimes involved in mutual criminal activity."

Williams says police continue to see a trend in “mutual combat” gun violence and says they have reason to believe the victims in the unsolved cases over the weekend were targeted.

Williams says summer is a time Hampton Police expect to see more crime, but there’s no singular cause for a spike in violence.

“January to May 2020 year-to-date, we saw roughly we saw 13 homicides in that time period— so, during the same time period, we're actually down year-to-date this year, but that number in 2020 was up compared to 2019, so it's difficult to attribute that specific increase to any one factor,” explained Williams.

Williams says police continue to struggle with getting victims to cooperate and identify their shooter.

The Hampton Police Division continues to encourage people to contact the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP(1-888-562-5887) with any information that can help solve these or any other cases.