Police say a shooting that killed one person and wounded nine others at a party in Chesapeake, Virginia on Saturday is not being investigated as a “mass shooting event.”
The shooting happened off Airline Boulevard around 10 p.m. Sunday. Chesapeake Police say they were already at the scene for reports of traffic congestion caused by the party when the shots rang out.
Detectives say there were two groups of individuals that came to the party and got into an altercation. It ended with both groups shooting at each other, striking innocent bystanders with bullets, according to police.
Police say this type of shooting does not fit the description for a mass shooting, even though the number of victims is high. A mass shooting event was described as “one or more suspects targeting innocent bystanders with the intent of causing death or injury.”
The one man who was killed as a result of the shooting has been identified as 27-year-old Brandon Smith of Suffolk, according to police.
Police do not have any suspect descriptions at this time and no arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-(888)-LOCK-U-UP.
Residents tell 10 On Your Side that they are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened. They say this was supposed to be a happy event for their community, calling it their “something in the water” event.
Seeing it end tragically is only pushing them to keep having these types of events, they say.
“It’s usually fun, it’s relaxing, it’s some place I go to get away and be with friends and family,” said Imani Barmore. But unfortunately, this event that was meant to bring peace, ended in tragedy.
“We do a lot of events for the community. Two weeks ago we had a similar block party, same amount of people, no issues,” Barmore said.
“It is essential because we are typically the disadvantaged population. We are shunned out of society, but we feel like we have the power, we have the voice and the capability of bringing things together on our own,” she said.
According to Barmore, the people involved in Saturday night’s shooting were not from their neighborhood and she feels like what happened does not reflect how they want to lead their community.
“What happened last night is why we have to keep doing this, to stop it, to put an end to it, and to allow ourselves the opportunity to be seen in another light, not just as vicious, wild, crazy, uneducated,” Barmore said.
They want the families of those impacted by the violence to know their loved ones will not be forgotten. “We do apologize and send our condolences to the families of those. We are doing what we can to raise funds to assist with funeral arrangements and medical expenses, and we are going to take the necessary precautions,” Barmore said.
If you would like to help their effort to support the victims’ families, they’ve set up a GoFundMe. There will also be a vigil at the Holly Cove Apartments on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.