HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Macon Road used to be a quiet street where families lived without fear. Now, neighbors tell 10 On Your Side investigators that the area is plagued by gun violence so severe that Hampton Police are stationed on the road around the clock to discourage crime.
The Hampton Police Department set up a mobile command unit, flood lights, and around-the-clock surveillance in the 700 block of Macon Road in May after an officer was shot at while patrolling the neighborhood. That shooting happened just nine days after a 21-year-old woman was injured during a drive-by in the same block. No one has been arrested in connection to either shooting.
“That’s when it really got hot around here as far as police presence,” said Paul, who’s lived in the neighborhood for about 40 years.
Paul is one of about half a dozen neighbors who spoke with 10 On Your Side about the gun violence plaguing Macon Road, but he’s only one of two people who were willing to speak with our investigators about the issue on camera.
Other neighbors declined to interview with 10 On Your Side because they are afraid of retaliation. One woman said no to an interview request because she “wants to live.” Another man pointed to bullet holes in a nearby fence and garage. He said he’s afraid to let his grandson visit his home because of the gun violence.
“It’s scary,” Paul said. “People tell me they jump out of bed and hit the floor at night because they start hearing rounds popping off. It sounded like a firefight a few times. It’s just bad.”
One home in the 700 block of Macon Road is at the center of the chaos, neighbors said. 10 On Your Side won’t identify that house since no one has been arrested in connection to a major shooting event. Our executive producer of investigations and special projects contacted the residents at that home for comment on this story but did not receive any before publication.
To learn more about the incidents being investigated at the home, 10 On Your Side requested a year’s worth of police incident reports and copies of 911 requests for service at the address. The Hampton Police Department declined to release 96 pages of information pertaining to six active investigations and an active prosecution stemming from incidents that have happened at the home; however, the agency did release dozens of records pertaining to closed investigations, including calls for service for shootings at the home.
Homeowners have shared their fears about violence and retaliation with Hampton City Council and police investigators. They told 10 On Your Side that they feel ignored by Hampton City Council. A meeting between neighbors and Hampton City Council was scheduled for May, but was postponed for police input, according to city spokesperson Robin McCormick.
McCormick issued a statement to 10 On Your Side on behalf of the Hampton City Council:
All of our Council members and City leaders are very concerned about crime in this area specifically, as well as other areas of the city. Many of them have received calls from residents of this neighborhood. Recently, a meeting with members of the City Council and some residents was set but was later postponed affording the City’s law enforcement partners to weigh in on viable solutions to address the issue.
The Hampton Police Division has ongoing investigative efforts to address the neighborhood concerns and active patrols on and around Macon Road to protect the residents. We are deploying all resources of government in a coordinated effort to ensure stability and normalcy are restored in this beautiful area of the City. Unfortunately, these strategies do require time, but we are taking an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to bringing resolution to these legitimate concerns as quickly as legally possible.
Hampton is a very safe city. Most of our violence is not random, but among parties who know each other. I know that may not make people feel more safe. Whenever gunshots are heard in a neighborhood, it is traumatic. People deserve to be safe, and our Police Department is aware of shootings in this area and working on this specific issue. Of course, people are welcome to come to Council and comment on any issue, but I want to assure people that we are already taking this very seriously and employing all strategies that we are allowed to by law.
Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck spoke with 10 On Your Side investigators about Macon Road. He could not confirm if the shootings are tied to gangs or drugs, and he said it’s not clear who the targets or perpetrators are. He confirmed that Hampton City Council is working with the HPD to resolve the violence and that they are in it for the long haul.
“We’re committed to having a presence there until the matter is resolved,” Tuck said.