HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The Hampton Police chief held a press conference Tuesday to address the recent spike in homicides in the city.
Chief Mark Talbot began the conference by talking about the end of 2022, noting the city had ended the year with a 30% reduction in homicides and a 20% reduction in non-fatal shootings.
Talbot said the department began to see a spike in violence in January 2023 that was “alarming.”
In January, Hampton had 15 shootings, with 20 victims. Out of the 20, nine people died.
Talbot also said Hampton Police has partnered with state and federal agencies who have agreed to come in and assist.
“We’re very confident within the next few weeks, we will end this vicious spike in lethal violence, but I want to emphasize that we can’t do it without the people who are impacted the most,” Talbot said.
One by one, he went through homicides that have taken place in the past month.
- Jan. 11: Sheriff’s deputy critically hurt, suspect dead after shooting at busy Hampton intersection
- Jan. 15: 19-year-old dies in shooting on County St. in Hampton
- Jan. 19: Man charged with first-degree murder in connection to shooting death on Hemlock Ave. in Hampton
- Jan. 23: Man dies in shooting on Pembroke Avenue in Hampton
- Jan. 26: Man dead on the scene after shooting on Fallon Ct in Hampton
- Jan. 29: Man dies following shooting on Aberdeen Road in Hampton
- Jan. 30: Police: 3 dead in shooting on Salisbury Way in Hampton
Talbot said these were not random crimes, that they were targeted. He has vowed to bring the victims justice.
Beyond those active investigations, the Hampton Police Division has come together to talk about the steps they will take to restore safety to the city.
“Our approach will be an all-hands approach from me down to our executive team down to the youngest rookie on the force,” Talbot said.
Talbot wasn’t the only Hampton official at the press conference today, Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck also spoke about the recent crime in the city.
Tuck said the recent uptick in shootings is unusual and that stopping the violence is important to save and improve lives.
“Everything that we try to do in the city revolves around trying to keep our citizens safe,” Tuck said. “If you’re talking about economic development, if you’re talking about attracting residents; people want to live in a city that is safe. I think safety adds to that quality of life.”
City Council will be working with Hampton Police to help curb the violence. Tuck said it’s important to reinforce trust and support in authorities right now.
“I know there are other calls in other areas about ‘defund the police,'” Tuck said. “We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in that. We support our police. As Chief Talbot said in the past, we made sure our police department had the resources that it needs to do its job and there’s no backing away from that.
Anyone with information about any of these active investigations can reach out anonymously by calling the tip line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, submitting a tip at P3Tips.com, or by calling or texting Hampton Police at 757–727–6111.
“We will partner with the city and get everybody through this,” Talbot said, “and we will make sure we do not have to live through a spike like this again.”
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.