HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia State Police are classifying the number of interstate shootings in Hampton Roads this year as alarming as it pursues leads to solve them.
From Jan. 1 through Wednesday, June 7 there have been 18 shootings between vehicles on the region’s interstates, six resulting in injuries, according to State Police. No one has died as a result of the interstate shootings.
Of the 18 shootings, seven have taken place in Hampton, five in Norfolk, two each in Chesapeake and Portsmouth and one each in Newport News and Virginia Beach.
There were two separate shooting incidents this past Monday night on I-64 in Hampton with two victims – one with life-threatening injuries and another with non life-threatening injuries.
On June 1, there was a three-vehicle crash that also involved a shooting in Hampton on I-64, according to State Police.
About a week earlier, a woman and child were injured following an interstate shooting on I-64 in Newport News.
In April, one person was injured and another person charged in connection to an interstate shooting on I-64 in Hampton near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.
In March, there was another interstate shooting on I-64 in Norfolk between Bay Avenue and Granby Street.
State Police said they are ramping up the intensity of its Bureau of Criminal Investigations’ investigative measures to solve and otherwise prevent them.
“Hampton Roads residents should be alarmed by the number of shootings happening on our highways,” said Captain Timothy A. Reibel, Commander of the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Chesapeake Field Office in a statement. “Virginians have a right to safely travel. The Virginia State Police, in partnership with local Hampton Roads law enforcement agencies, have been diligently pursuing all leads, evidence and resources available to us to make arrests in these incidents and prevent the next one from happening.”
Riebel said there is no indication that “the majority of the interstate shootings are random acts,” and that no one individual is responsible for all of them.
The interstate shootings, Riebel said, do share common traits – victims and suspects from the same communities, along with “existing associations and relationships with precipitating events which have resulted in conflict.”
“Some are gang related,” Riebel said. “Others simply involve individuals in conflict.”
State Police said they are working to make arrests in the interstate shootings, but they are calling for the public’s help. They say anyone with information on any of the interstate shootings this year can dial #77 on a cell phone, call 757-424-6800, or email email@example.com.
“We know there are people out there who witnessed the disagreement that sparked an eventual shooting and/or know the suspects and the victims involved in these shootings,” Riebel said. “We need those people to come forward. Staying quiet only empowers these dangerous criminals, and further victimizes and endangers the safety of our communities and highways.”