Portsmouth's interim police chief holds RESET walk in London Oaks after double shooting

News 3's Leondra Head speaks with Interim Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins
Posted at 9:33 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 22:42:38-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth Police officers, including Interim Police Chief Stephen Jenkins, were in the London Oaks neighborhood Friday after a double shooting left 29-year Robert Parker dead and another man injured. Jenkins went door to door talking to residents, building community relations.

"If there are any issues or concerns, we’re here to not only pass off some information but encourage you that if you see something, say something. We have trauma counselors here. We have behavioral health here, people from social services," Chief Jenkins said to a London Oaks resident at their front door.

This walk was Jenkins’ first as head of the police department.

"Chief [Renado] Prince was suddenly let go earlier this week. I’m sure it’s been a long week for you. How do you plan to lead the City of Portsmouth as the interim police chief?" News 3 reporter Leondra Head asked Jenkins.

"Unfortunately, when personnel matters happen, there’s not a lot of comment that I have on that. Obviously, I’ve learned a lot from Chief Prince, and I definitely wish him the best in his endeavors. Going forward, I have a police department to run and try to stabilize," Jenkins said.

So far this year, there have been at least four shootings in the London Oaks neighborhood. One resident says she’s become desensitized to the shootings that happen in front of her apartment. She says she was inside her apartment at the time of this latest shooting.

"We were right here when it took place. It was hard. I cried; it shook me up. I started praying when I heard the gunshots - that’s the only thing you can do," the London Oaks resident said.

Community activist Darrell Redmond is from the London Oaks neighborhood and came to the neighborhood when he learned of the deadly shooting.

"When I walked out here the other night and I heard kids saying, ‘It’s a dead body over there,' it took me back to the movie 'Boyz N the Hood.' Kids were saying that. It’s not normal," Redmond said.

Redmond says he had seen Parker before Parker tragically died.

"I had just spoke with him not too long ago. Things like that bother me. It’s always sad. He was one of the one’s who was ready to speak to some of the kids in my program," Redmond said.

Related: Attorney General Jason Miyares visits Portsmouth to address crime in city

Mayor Shannon Glover, Councilman William "Bill" Moody and Councilman Chris Woodard also attended Friday's RESET walk.

Police tell News 3 they are investigating the deadly shooting and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Click here for our full coverage on finding solutions to gun violence in Hampton Roads.