NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - A mother outside playing with her two children died from a possible stray bullet Saturday night in the Newport News' East End.
Newport News police spokeswoman Holly McPherson said officers responded to a shooting at the Marshall Courts Apartments in the 800 block of 35th Street around 7 p.m. Police arrived to find 27-year-old Phyllis Felicia Vinston lying in the apartment's courtyard suffering from a gunshot wound. Medics pronounced her dead at the scene.
Witnesses told WAVY.com that Vinston and her two young boys were together in the courtyard when she died.
"It's extremely sad. Any of our homicides are extremely difficult for not only employees but also family and friends," Holly McPherson said with the Newport News Police Department.
Detectives determined one or two men fired several shots from a nearby location, McPherson said. Police continue to investigate if the gunmen shot her purposely or accidentally. Friends say Vinston was shot trying to keep her son's out of harms way during the shooting.
"She was a wonderful person she was real nice. She was basically dedicated to her kids and her family. She was just basically trying to stay out of the foolishness around here, Ron Dickson said, a childhood friend of Vinston's. "She was basically just trying to save her kids."
Anyone with information about the case should call the Newport News Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
This is the city's first homicide of 2013.
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