PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Their names have faded from the headlines. Sierra Jenkins, Dominique Brooks, Erica Atkins, and Zabre Miller are the victims of murders in Norfolk and Portsmouth that remain unsolved.
Jenkins, a reporter from The Virginian-Pilot, was gunned down outside a downtown Norfolk nightspot in March of 2022 in a mass shooting that left two other people dead. Several national news organizations carried the story of the reporter who was supposed to have covered the breaking news, but ended up being a victim.
Norfolk State University student, Dominique Brooks was a former standout local high school high school football player who was shot and killed outside an apartment complex for college students near Old Dominion University. He had plans to open a trucking company with his mother
Erica Atkins was killed Sept. 8 in a hail of gunfire as she sat in a car in the Dale Homes section of Portsmouth. The suspected killers were caught on camera, but no suspects have been arrested. Her aunt, Monica is the founder of an anti-violence organization in Portsmouth.
Zabre Miller of Virginia Beach was killed in a mass shooting in September of 2022 that also claimed the life of an NSU student. His mother now cares for his infant child who was born months after Miller died.
The four murder cases, all of which had witnesses, remain unsolved by Norfolk and Portsmouth police officers.
“When the news cycle moves on, people are out of sight out of mind and in fact, some of it doesn’t even get on primetime news,” said Dr. Antpas Harris, the founder and president of the Urban Renewal Center in the Ghent section of Norfolk.
Because their loved ones live with grief every day, The Urban Renewal Center next week will offer a hand to families to say they are not alone.
“We need to raise awareness of the devastation of violence on families by highlighting them and memorializing the young people who have been murdered in our community,” Harris said.
Regina Mobley: We saw, in recent years, the youngest victim of gun violence (Honesty Brehon); a little girl one-month-old shot in Norfolk and we saw the youngest perpetrator of gun violence, a 6-year-old who shot his teacher in the Richneck Elementary School incident.
Dr. Antipas Harris: It’s just devastating; we are creating a culture of violence with the continued violence children are being raised in a culture of violence.
Silencing the culture of violence and amplifying hope are on the program Tuesday, Oct. 10 for the second annual Evening of Hope. The Virginia Symphony will take the lead.
“We are going to have great orchestral performances but also the Shark City drumline will be playing. They are teenagers who use drumming as an alternative to the violent lifestyle.”
10 On Your Side is a proud sponsor of the event; morning show anchor Aesia Toliver will emcee Evening of Hope, which is free and open to the public.
If you want the name of your loved one who was lost or injured by violence added to the program, click this link from the Urban Renewal Center. For ticket information, click this link from Eventbrite.