VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Two people are dead and at least eight are wounded after a series of shootings broke out along Virginia Beach’s oceanfront, authorities announced early Saturday morning.
Eight individuals were shot shortly after 11 p.m. on Friday, Virginia Beach Police said in a news release. The victims were all transported to local hospitals, with their conditions ranging from serious to life-threatening.
Officers were conducting routine patrols in the 1900 block of Atlantic Avenue when they heard multiple gunshots, locating several wounded victims in the area of 17th Street and 22nd Street. A Virginia Police officer was struck with a vehicle and transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries, and one adult female succumbed to gunshot wounds.
As officers investigated the first shooting, shots were fired again in the nearby vicinity, police chief Paul Neudigate said. The officer confronted a male suspect, resulting in an officer-involved shooting that led to deadly gunfire. Both shootings are being investigated concurrently by the Department’s Homicide Unit and Detective Bureau, as well as the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Office of Internal Affairs.
The officer who fatally shot the male suspect, a five-year department veteran, has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice in officer-involved shootings.
“We have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night,” Neudigate said in a press conference.
Public Affairs officer L.M. Bauder described the crime scene as “very active,” with multiple road closures. Officials have asked civilians to avoid the area while detectives investigate.
Anyone with information regarding the crimes is encouraged to call the Virginia Beach Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).
Tipsters will remain anonymous and, if their information leads to an arrest, can be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.