Homeowner shaken up after bullets rip through Portsmouth home

Bullets rip through Portsmouth home.png
Homeowner shaken up after bullets rip through Portsmouth home
Posted at 8:54 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 22:55:39-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The latest Portsmouth shooting happened on Elm Avenue Sunday, leaving a 19-year old De’von Coleman with life-threatening injuries. He was taken to a local hospital and is currently stable.

A Portsmouth resident who lives near Elm Avenue says he heard several gunshots in the area.

"Last night, it came through here, and it went through and out the other window," Cecil Bembury says as he points to the bullet holes in the house.

Bembury and his wife were enjoying a quiet movie night at home when a bullet went through their house.

"I was laying on the couch. Actually, it [the bullets] went over me. I look, and I rolled on the floor because I could hear the shots," Bembury said.

He and his wife moved to the area eight years ago.

"We hear gunshots every night," Bembury tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.

He says the neighborhood is quite different from when he first moved to the area.

"We were feeling pretty positive that we had picked the right neighborhood. Now, I’m ready to leave," he said.

The latest shooting has disturbed Bembury and his wife’s peace of mind.

"We have to repair some of this stuff in order to sell it. If I could leave tomorrow, I would," he said.

Police are still looking for a suspect and a black van that may have been involved.

"Anyone that knows me and my wife know that we don’t mess with anyone. Wave and speak when you ride by."

The City of Portsmouth is leaning on the community to help bring down the number of shootings.

"We’re doing a lot of things to try and curb gun violence," Victoria Varnedoe with the Portsmouth Police Department said.

"One way is through our violence interrupters. They are already known in the community and they are out there, talking to youth about communication and how to navigate some of the feeling they are having," Varnedoe said.

The violence interrupters have been in place for four months, providing resources for Portsmouth neighborhoods. The Portsmouth Police Department says reaching youth at a young age and partnering with grassroots organizations is one way the city is addressing gun violence.