NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The case against a Norfolk man charged in four shootings outside a downtown night club will go to the April grand jury, but not as originally charged.
Judge Joseph Lindsey carried forward seven of the nine felony charges against Tyshawn Gray, 25, after four people were wounded Aug. 5 outside the Legacy Restaurant and Lounge on Plume Street.
The Commonwealth presented video evidence from exterior cameras showing people scrambling after the sound of eight gunshots in quick succession.
Law enforcement had increased patrols in the area after other shooting incidents earlier in the year. A Norfolk Sheriff’s deputy was on duty that night with two city police officers and responded to a disorderly crowd at the club.
The deputy was one of four people wounded, according to police. All four recovered. Gray was originally charged with nine felony charges, but Lindsey said evidence was lacking for two of those charges pertaining to the fourth victim.
Gray’s case goes to the grand jury with one count of malicious wounding of an officer, two counts of malicious wounding and four gun charges.
His defense attorney, Andrew Sacks, said those charges are too serious for what happened.
“(The Commonwealth has) selected the most serious charges, malicious wounding and this sort of thing, that requires very specific intent against certain individuals. That’s not what this evidence is,” Sacks said after the hearing.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi will prosecute the case himself, as he has with other recent high-profile cases.
“This is one of the most serious cases to come out of Norfolk in calendar year 2022,” Fatehi said following the hearing. “Four people shot, we are lucky they all lived. This is a case where I want everybody in Norfolk to know that I will try it personally, because that’s how seriously I take it.”
The surveillance video shows Gray leaving the club about 1:20 a.m. Aug. 5, and walking down Plume Street toward Atlantic Street. The gunfire came from that direction.
One officer testified he saw Gray near Plume and Atlantic with arms extended and a dark object in his hand, but he could not confirm that it was a gun. Bodycam video showed investigators running toward the origin of the gunfire where they saw Gray and another man.
Police detained both men, and say Gray volunteered that he had a gun on him. Officers seized the Smith and Wesson .380 pistol. A forensics investigator said he collected eight shell casings that were eventually matched to the gun. Additional bullets were found in a nearby Dodge pickup that had Gray’s ID card in the center console.
Sacks says Gray was subject to extreme provocation because he was attacked inside the club shortly before the shootings.
“He was stomped on, dragged out of the club, and within a very short time after that, had a reaction to that,” Sacks said. “And that’s understandable human nature being what it is.”
However, the video shows Gray leaving the club walking upright.
Fatehi said he will try to bring the two charges relating to the fourth victim back into the case by way of direct indictment. He added that the difference between these multiple shootings and what could have been multiple killings is perilously thin.
“The only difference between a shooting and a murder is luck, aim, or the quality of medical care,” Fatehi said. “Those are the only differences, and I am very glad that the victims survived this horrible horrible incident.”