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Portsmouth sees another rash of gun violence

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Posted at 2:55 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 19:40:51-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The city is dealing with another rash of gun violence, with four people getting shot since Saturday morning.

The latest happened early Tuesday morning at the Marsh Landing Apartments off of George Washington Highway.

"It was a tragedy out here," a neighbor told News 3. "I came out here, and a young man [was] laid out here on the ground. People [were] out here crying and screaming."

Another shooting left a woman seriously hurt near Dale Homes. In another incident, a man showed up at the hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

In addition, a man was shot and killed off of Mount Vernon Avenue early Saturday.

"You hear gunshots all the time in the City of Portsmouth," the neighbor told News 3.

Gun violence is an issue News 3 has been reporting on extensively in recent months.

Earlier this month, the city released its updated crime plan.

"It may not be going as fast as people want it to go, but it's going," said Eugene Swinson from a community group called Big Homies.

Last week, News 3 spoke with Police Chief Renado Prince during a community walk.

"We need to engage with our community on a positive note," Prince said.

People in the city recognize something needs to change.

On Tuesday, News 3 spoke with Bracey Parr, the president of the Cradock Civic League. News 3 first spoke to him late last year after several shootings in the neighborhood.

"It's been relatively quiet since then," Parr said.

His civic league is moving forward with a program to help encourage neighbors to put up lights at night.

"It's great to discourage porch pirates when you're not home. When you're on vacation, the lights still come on and off, so it looks like someone's there," said Parr.

The civic league also is creating a community development corporation with the hopes of purchasing vacant property to revitalize Afton Square.

"There's some good activity around a lot of different fronts," said Parr. "There's a bunch of these small efforts that are going to culminate in lasting change."

Community members, like Parr, say they're not giving up on the city.

"I love Portsmouth. I love the people here; love the diversity, love our home, and really love my neighbors."