Updated: Monday, 23 Mar 2009, 6:43 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 22 Mar 2009, 9:58 AM EDT
NORFOLK, Va - Police have charged a 24-year-old Virginia Beach man with killing one man and injuring another in a shooting inside the Waterside garage early Sunday morning.
Reginald E. Royals of the 6300 block of Ardsley Square was charged with one count of Murder, one count of Malicious Wounding, and two counts of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony.
Preliminary reports suggest that five individuals, three suspects and two victims, were involved in a minor traffic accident on the fourth floor of the garage. An altercation ensued, leaving one victim dead and the other in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police identified the man killed as 26-year-old Juan Carlos Ovalle-Peralea of Chesapeake.
Friends of the victim tell WAVY.com Ovalle-Peralea came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic to make a better life for his family. He was working as a mechanic for HRT, along with his two older brothers.
Ovalle-Peralea was working as much overtime as possible and sending money back home. He was also working to bring his five-year-old son to the States.
Ovalle-Peralea's roommate was the other shooting victim. Police say his injuries were not life-threatening.
This second homicide in just three days in downtown Norfolk has many people concerned about a possible dangerous trend in an area that is supposed to be focused on revitalization.
"We've had some concerns here because we've had some fights," said Lane Brown who manages Waterside Festival Marketplace, which is owned by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
"These kinds of incidents are just inherent if you have late night activities at bars," said Brown.
WAVY.com did some digging and we discovered Norfolk police have
been called to Waterside Marketplace 258 times in the last 12
Officers have been called to Waterside Garage 76 times, for a total of nearly 340 police calls to the venue and the garage in the last year.
We wanted answers from the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which as the owner of Waterside Marketplace, is responsible for it.
Noone would interview with us, but the chairman of NRHA's board of commissioners did tell us on the phone, "The board is concerned, but it is a police matter."
While Chairman Shep Miller did pass the buck with that statement, he went on to say, "I think people have lost their minds. People think they'll solve their problems by picking up a gun. It's scary."
One city official told WAVY.com, on the condition of anonymity, "Waterside has become a late-night hangout for thugs."
Responding to that comment, Brown said, "We have the tennants we have and they attract the type of clientele we have and as a result we now have the reputation we've got."
Brown said he has spoken with the managers of the bars inside Waterside previously, about several issues, including serving alcohol to minors and people who are obvioiusly drunk.
He said the bar managers are "reasonably cooperative, but actions don't always follow promises."
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