NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — In less than 24 hours, 15 people were shot in five cities across Hampton Roads. Four of those people died from their injuries.
On Sunday friends and family of one of the victims, 25-year-old Sierra Jenkins, held a vigil outside Granby High School. Granby was Jenkins’ alma mater. She was fatally shot early Saturday morning on Granby Street in Norfolk.
“I love my baby. I miss my baby,” said her mother, Moniquekia Thompson.
Thompson stood on the bleachers surrounded by posters and balloons as she addressed the crowd. Jenkins’ father also took a moment to speak.
“To see this happen to someone that was doing everything that they needed to do in life because that’s what she was doing,” said Maurice Jenkins.
He voiced his condolences to the loved ones of Devon Harris, the second victim who was killed by gunfire Saturday.
Meanwhile, community leaders and organizations are working to facilitate change.
“Who wins? Nobody wins. It’s a lost field so let us turn this operation around and let us bring about peace, harmony and love,” said Bilal Muhammad of Stop the Violence.
Ron Taylor, president of the Hampton Roads Black Caucus, told 10 On Your Side Hampton Roads needs all hands on deck including politicians, community leaders, and you.
HRBC recently held a gun buyback event in Norfolk to get guns off the streets, where 30 firearms were turned in. Taylor wants to hold future events in all seven cities.
“We may not be able to eliminate it all but we can reduce it because this in unprecedented for the Hampton Roads area to have this type of elevation of gun violence,” Taylor said.
It’s a process Thompson echoed Sunday as she asked the crowd to keep her daughter alive by continuing her journalistic mission to help people.
“Change. Do better. Love one another,” Thompson said.
On Monday, Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron released a statement on social media about the violent weekend.
“Following a violent weekend throughout Hampton Roads, our thoughts are with the victims and their families. It’s times like this that we must come together as a community and spread the message that violence is not the answer. As leaders we need to be proactive and find meaningful ways to reduce crime in our streets. We must continue to have open dialogue about the violence plaguing our community and find constructive ways citizens can learn to resolve conflict. Healthy social skills need to be taught at an early age and continue to evolve through adolescence and adulthood. Our communities must come together for the betterment of our youth and their future.”Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron