HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — In less than 6 hours from Sunday night into Monday morning, four young men were shot in the city of Hampton in three separate events.
“It’s disturbing and it also just leaves me scratching my head as the reason for it,” said Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck.
The oldest of the victims is a 20-year-old. The youngest is just 14.
“We have curfews. So, for a 14-year-old to be out at 3 o’clock in the morning to be in a position to get shot, is concerning,” said Tuck.
None of the victims in the overnight shootings have life-threatening injuries. However, officials are still taking the matter very seriously.
Interim Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson sent 10 On Your Side the following statement about the violence overnight:
“Hampton is one of many cities across the region and country that is struggling with an increase in gun violence among young offenders. The age of the victims and offenders are concerning, but we are working on long and short term solutions. This is a problem that is driven by a very small percentage of offenders who are having an immense impact on our communities. We are embracing our responsibility to keep everyone safe. We are working hard to increase the cooperation that we are able to get from our victims because it is impacting our ability to bring them the justice that they deserve. We will continue to prioritize the work that we are doing that will positively impact the conditions that we face. This is certainly a policing challenge. It is also a challenge that will require an ‘all-hands’ approach. It is important that we work together as a community to keep neighborhoods safe.“
According to Tuck, increased gang violence may be a cause.
“We believe there’s some gang activity and as a result of that our interim police said they’re trying to step up some of their gang enforcement activities,” said Tuck.
The overnight violence from Sunday into early Monday is just the latest in a string of violence over the past nine days.
Since June 19, there have been seven shootings in Hampton. Three were homicides.
- June 19 (1 dead): First block of Shelton Road
- June 20 (1 dead, 1 injured): 700 block of Homestead Avenue
- June 23 (1 dead): First block of Berkley Drive
- June 25 (1 injured): 200 block of N. King Street
- June 27 (2 injured): 500 block of Homestead Avenue, Shell Road area
- June 27 (1 injured): 900 block of N. King Street
- June 28 (1 injured): First block of Andros Isle
“Every time I see the email that talks about someone either getting shot or a homicide, I recognize not only is that individual’s life touched, but other people extended family, communities that are touched, and so we have to do our best to try and find a solution,” said Tuck.
Tuck says Hampton isn’t alone: Violence is increasing around Hampton Roads.
That’s why he’s has organized virtual forums for the mayors from the seven cities of Hampton Roads to come together and discuss solutions to public safety.
“Are there things that we are doing that can mitigate it that we can share? Are there things that are being thought about that are being tried other places in the nation that might be beneficial and so we want to look at every aspect of it,” Tuck said.
The first of the forums was held in April.
The second was set for Monday night at 7 p.m.