Gun violence in Hampton Roads leaves residents, community activists concerned

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Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 12:37:51-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va.— Gun violence continues to be a big concern in Hampton Roads. Since this past Wednesday, June 1, there have been eight shootings within the city of Portsmouth.

Many people who live in Portsmouth say they're on high alert. Tonight our crew was on the scene where a woman was shot at 7-Eleven. News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones spoke with a woman who witnessed the shooting, that just wants to know why this keeps happening.

Faith Watson works at the Dollar General beside the 7-Eleven off Effingham street, where gunshots led to a woman being injured.

"I didn't hear anything go off, until I saw customers running in frantically. The car right there, the lady as she was stepping out, her car was actively getting shot at," Watson said.

All of this left Watson frantic with questions.

" I called my boss and said, 'Hey! What do I do? Do I close the store? Do I call 9-1-1?' So I called the police, they showed up and they started taping everything off. I saw that someone was down at the 7-Eleven," said Watson.

Police said the woman shot is expected to be okay. However, one long-time resident said this is just one of the many situations that have been happening since Thursday.

Germain Green, a resident said, " I would jump out on a limb and say they're probably gang-related."

Green says he's tired of the senseless gun violence and wants to see stricter gun laws.

"Especially with these high-caliber weapons. You know I see about 50-60 shots was fired from Effingham, and you see stuff like that and I can see how it can terrify people," said Watson.

But just a few miles away in Norfolk -- a shooting and stabbing during a Stop the Violence forum Saturday night.

Bilal Muhammad, President of Stop the Violence Team said, "One of the youth members yesterday at the Kroc center witnessed the young man laying on the ground at Walmart."

The question now is, are Stop the Violence events enough to actually stop crime?

"We should provide officers to make up for the security that is needed. More crucial that is needed to save human lives to circulate in all these neighborhoods," said Muhammad.

Members of the Stop the Violence Team plan to rally together again at a city council meeting on June 28 to discuss the issue of gun violence, and what they want to see done. Also, Portsmouth Police tell us they're aware of the significant concern about recent gun violence and are actively investigating the incidents.