NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk’s police chief calls the two homicides that took place on Bonnot Drive in less than 24 hours “gravely disturbing” as officers continue to investigate whether they are related.
The first homicide took place around 8 a.m. Thursday as police responded to the 6900 block of Bonnot Drive for a report of an unresponsive man. When officers arrived, they found 20-year-old Lamarion O. Budd suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The most recent shooting took place around 1 a.m. Friday when police got a call for a gunshot disturbance in the 1300 block of Branch Road. When officers arrived to that scene, they found an unresponsive person, also in the 6900 block of Bonnot Drive. The person was identified as a 16-year-old boy, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Every homicide is cause for great concern, but having two homicides occur so closely together within the same community is gravely disturbing to me,” said Norfolk Police Chief Mark Talbot in a statement, “because it means there are those comfortable enough to believe this level of violence is acceptable in any one of our neighborhoods, and it is not.”
Norfolk investigators spread out across a field that forms the backyards of the homes on Bonnot Drive. The crime scene is just a few feet away from the ballfield at Rosemont Middle School right in the next block.
Larry Ward has lived here 10 years. He said typically it’s quiet, but two killings in less than a day are forcing him to rethink that.
“People are acting like they don’t care too much about other peoples lives,” Ward said. “They’re just killing people for whatever reason. I don’t know.”
With victims ages 16 and 20, neighbor Aspen Smith said he’s concerned, especially about the younger people with the increase in violence.
“The age group, usually about 16 to 25, if you make it past that, you should be all right if you stay out of the way,” Smith said. “I’m 30, and I stay out of the way.”
Ward has a message for that very age group.
“Even if you got a problem with somebody, try to solve it amongst yourselves without having to kill each other,” Ward said.
Said Talbot: “Residents of the Tanners Creek neighborhood can expect to see an increased number of Norfolk Police officers in their community as we work to quickly identify those responsible for the deaths of these two young men.”
Detectives continue to investigate the two shootings, and they ask for anyone with information to contact the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or to leave an anonymous tip through the P3Tips mobile app.
Police have not released any additional details about the two shooting deaths.
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