NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk police say two are dead and five others injured following a mass shooting in the Highland Park section of the city near Old Dominion University.
According to police, officers were called to a home on Killam Ave. near 50th St. around midnight Sunday for a shooting. Police say when officers arrived, they located four women and three men with gunshot wounds.
#NorfolkPD is currently investigating a shooting in the 5000 block of Killam Avenue. 7 people have been taken to the hospital (5 have non-life threatening injuries, 2 have life threatening injuries) Call came in around 12:00 a.m. More details to follow. pic.twitter.com/rTnL4e4YEF
— Norfolk Police Dept (@NorfolkPD) September 4, 2022
Of the victims, police said two, a man and a woman, had life-threatening injuries. Around 12:30 p.m., investigators revealed 25-year-old Zabre Miller and 19-year-old Angelia McKnight had died from their injuries.
Sunday morning, Norfolk State University said several of the shooting victims were NSU students.
“Initial indications are that our students were innocent bystanders of a shooting at an evening house party,” the university posted to its Instagram page, adding that although NSU’s police had secured the university’s campus, there was no danger to campus.
Sunday afternoon, NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston confirmed McKnight, a New York native, was a Pre-Nursing student in her second year at the university.
“Our prayers and condolences are with Angelia’s family and all those impacted by this tragic event,” Adams-Gaston said in a statement, adding that counseling and support services have been made available on campus.
A spokesperson with Old Dominion tells News 3 that none of the victims were ODU students.
Norfolk emergency dispatch radio traffic also indicated emergency crews responded to several other shooting incidents around the city overnight. News 3 cameras located active police scenes at 18th Bay St. and Pleasant Ave. and the intersection of N. Military Hwy and Brickell Rd. There was also a call out for a shooting at Nicholson Street in Young Terrace just after midnight.
Police said someone was hurt in the 18th Bay Street shooting and said the incident on N. Military Hwy is a homicide.
On Sunday afternoon, Mayor Kenny Alexander, interim Police Chief Mike Goldsmith, City Manager Chip Filer, and Sheriff Joe Baron addressed the violence.
“Violence has no place in the City of Norfolk,” said Alexander.
Filer put it frankly and said he would be working to try and identify additional strategies the city could take to try and prevent the gun violence. “We’ve tried a number of initiatives. We’ve tried a number of efforts, all of which seem to not be getting us where we need to be,” said Filer.
Goldsmith says they have shifted strategies to put more officers on patrol and identified the problem as people handling conflicts by shooting at each other. “This is what’s frustrating about these things – right now, people get into a disagreement and then they shoot each other,” said Goldsmith. “In the process of doing that, they end up shooting innocent people who end up dying. That cannot be tolerated.”
Even though the police department has more than 200 vacancies, the chief doesn’t attribute that as leading to violence.
“If somebody gets angry at someone and decides to pull out a gun and shoot them, there’s no policing strategy for that. If we had a department of 1200, there’s no policing strategy for that,” said Goldsmith.
Still, the problem isn’t going away. Filer says in the last six years, the poverty rate has decreased in the city and the median income has gone up, but so has crime.
“I think all of us are trying to figure out where that’s coming from,” he said. “As the mayor said so perfectly, where do we go from here?”
A spokesperson for Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin sent News 3 a statement Sunday in response to the shooting, reading:
“The governor is devastated to learn that two individuals lost their lives and prays for a full recovery for the students and victims impacted by this devastating shooting. As more details are uncovered, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bob Mosier and the Virginia State Police are coordinating with and offering assistance to local authorities.”
Early Sunday morning, a police source told News 3 that Sentara Norfolk General Hospital’s Trauma Center was locked down as a result of the violence and number of patients. Emergency dispatch radio traffic indicated other patients were temporarily diverted to other hospitals for treatment. Around 5 a.m., a hospital spokesperson said the lockdown had been lifted and normal operations had resumed.
A News 3 crew viewed a staging area set up outside Sentara Norfolk General’s Emergency Department where families of victims could gather information about their loved ones.
First responders from Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Virginia State Police were called in to assist Norfolk Police, Fire and EMS. Chesapeake Police confirmed the department sent four officers and one supervisor to Sentara Norfolk General to provide traffic control support to vehicles moving in and out of the area. Police say those officers returned to Chesapeake around 2 a.m.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 3 for more information.