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'They loved to dance': Friends remember couple killed in Norfolk mass shooting

 Nicole Lovewine and Detra Brown
Posted at 4:52 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 23:26:36-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk community has, once again, been ripped apart by gun violence.

Norfolk Police say a suspect is in custody after a possible domestic-related fatal shooting that left three women dead and two other women injured Wednesday evening.

Two of the three women killed were 45-year-old Nicole Lovewine and 42-year-old Detra Brown.

Lovewine leaves behind four children: Three boys and a girl.

"They loved to dance. That's what I really loved about them," said Burt McManus, bartender and manager at 37th & Zen. "They would love to come and sing karaoke. They came out every Wednesday, like our shrimp night. They were just a big part of our community."

This community, along with family and friends, is now forced to remember the memories made with Lovewine and Brown instead of making new ones.

"There's just no way to describe how devastated I was and how lost we all were," said Annette Stone.

Norfolk Police responded to the 800 block of Whitaker Lane after reports of a shooting around 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Police said Lovewine's 19-year-old daughter was shot by her boyfriend, 19-year-old Ziontay Palmer. Police report that when Lovewine and Brown ran outside to render aid, they were also shot and killed by Palmer, as was 44-year-old Sara Costine, who police believe was a neighbor. A 39-year-old woman, who police have not identified, was also shot and hospitalized.

"I can see them rushing to the scene, probably, even if it wasn’t her daughter because that’s who they were. If something's happening, they’re going to go see what’s up," McManus said.

McManus said she also knows the 39-year-old woman who was shot.

"She's alive is what I've heard, so I think she's OK, but I don’t know more than that."

Stone owns 37th & Zen and the old Hershee Bar, where the couple were regulars. She said they lit up a room.

"I think that they should be an example of how you should partner and how you should live your best life."

Even people who didn't know them feel this loss. Bruce Jones, a community activist, stopped by the memorial on Friday morning.

"I came out here today to pray - to pray for the families that lost their loved ones and the ones in the hospital. I pray for healing for the family," he said.

He believes there needs to be more video surveillance in the area and a stronger police presence so kids can play outside safely.

Related: Neighbors, community activists plead for end to gun violence after Norfolk shooting leaves 3 women dead

McManus said 37th & Zen plans to have a memorial for their friends and loyal customers.

The Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said Palmer was arraigned Thursday morning on three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and five counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Palmer's preliminary hearing is set for January 11 at 11 a.m.

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