Overnight shootings near the Atlantic oceanfront in Virginia Beach left two people dead and eight wounded in a scene described by authorities on Saturday as very chaotic.
Three men ranging in age from 18 to 22 have been arrested and face charges that include felonious assault and reckless handling of a firearm, Virginia Beach police said in a statement on Saturday.
The first shooting occurred shortly after 11 p.m. Friday along an outdoor strip of hotels, clubs and restaurants that was densely packed with people on one of the first warm days of the year.
Witness Akereia Drayton said Saturday that she was coming out of a club on Friday night after the shooting ended and saw mass chaos and many people running.
People were literally falling over themselves, Drayton said.
Investigators believe the first shooting stemmed from a fight involving a group of people, police said.
Several individuals produced firearms and began shooting at each other, resulting in numerous people being wounded, the police department statement said.
Officers patrolling the area quickly responded, police said. But more gunfire followed several minutes later.
Police said they found a female bystander about a block away who died of her injuries from a second shooting incident. Investigators believe the woman’s death was not related to the initial shooting.
At around the same time, police said that a uniformed officer in that area encountered an armed citizen and fatally shot him.
A Virginia Beach police officer was also struck by a vehicle, police said. He was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital.
We have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night, Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said.
A total of 10 people were wounded by gunfire, including the two who died, according to police.
Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital said four people wounded in the gunfire remained in the hospital on Saturday. All four of them were in good condition, a hospital spokeswoman said in an email.
News Source: News18