Woman killed, man wounded in Portsmouth shooting

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) -- A shooting in Portsmouth early Tuesday morning left a woman dead and a man wounded.

According to police, the shooting happened around 2:20 a.m. near the intersection of Deep Creek Boulevard and Graham Street. Investigators spent the morning on the scene talking to area witnesses and collecting evidence.

"Boom.  Boom.  Boom," is what one witness who didn't want to be identified remembered hearing. "A guy started screaming, 'Help! Help! Help! A lady is down. A lady is in the street.'"

This witness says she saw a man running towards to the woman. "We came outside immediately and you could tell she was lifeless," the witness added. "She was gone already."

The victim was identified as 27-year-old Vandalet Mercer, of Portsmouth. Police say she suffered a gunshot wound to the torso.

Family says she is mother of a 7-year-old daughter.

"It happened so fast, and he was so shocked that he didn't even know he was shot himself," the witness said. "He just said, 'She's gone, she's gone.'"

Witnesses say the man was shot in the hand. Mercer suffered a bullet wound to the chest. Police say they don't know why the shooting took place.

"We know immediately that she wasn't elderly or just a woman roaming the streets," the witness added. "Something about this was personal, and whoever did it needs to be punished immediately."

Police continue to look for clues.

"Somebody knows something," the witness said. "The family needs to find some closure because that lifeless body is not a scene that anyone wants to see no matter what age you are."

Medics pronounced Mercer dead at the scene and said the man, who was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the hand, is expected to recover.

If you have any information about this crime, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP℠.

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