Murder of Norfolk mother and daughter brings attention to domestic violence

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Posted at 3:54 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-21 08:54:55-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - This weekend, family and friends will say their final goodbyes to a mother and daughter who were gunned down in Norfolk last week.

52-year-old Alicia Hereford and 23-year-old Morgan Bazemore were shot on Goff Street in Norfolk around 12 a.m. on Friday.

27-year-old Kenyatta Jones of Norfolk, who police said was Bazemore's boyfriend, sits behind bars accused of killing the mother and daughter.

"It's intolerable that domestic violence is still occurring," said Robin Gauthier, Executive Director of the Samaritan House in Virginia Beach. "My guess is that Alicia was probably trying to protect Morgan and probably trying to intervene."

Gauthier knows Hereford from her days working at the Samaritan House. Hereford served as the manager of the Emergency Shelter Program in 2019. Before that, Gauthier said she worked for Portsmouth's Department of Social Services.

"We were just devastated. We were just stunned that one of our own was murdered and fell victim to domestic violence," Gauthier said.

The Samaritan House was created to protect people from this type of violence.

"It just goes to show that even when you're aware of all the resources and you're educated on domestic violence, you can still fall prey to it," she said.

Gauthier said their deaths are shedding light on the worldwide issue of domestic violence.

"Approximately 30% of all homicides are related to domestic violence," she said. "Women of color and African American women are disproportionately killed at a higher rate than white women and other races. Our statistics in this region and in the state really mirror that."

Related: Family, friends remember mother and daughter killed in Norfolk

That's why advocates and those serving the nonprofit said it's important to speak up for victims before it is too late.

"We want the community to know that this is happening at a disproportionate rate and we want leaders to come together and do something about it," Gauthier said. "Don't let their deaths be in vain."

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the Samaritan House's 24-hour hotline at (757) 430-2120.