Community organizers call for unity, change after four children injured during shooting Friday


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Norfolk community is still looking for answers after four children were shot Friday afternoon.

Late Friday night, Norfolk police announced the arrest of a 15-year-old boy in connection to the shooting.

Now, community groups say this violent act should highlight a need for unity and change in neighborhoods across Hampton Roads.

Members of the Stop the Violence Team and other religious organizations returned to Madison Avenue to meet with community members.

“Just like America has found a vaccine for this pandemic, we need to find a vaccine, we need to find a cure to stop the violence in our neighborhoods,” said Pastor Terence Williams of Out of Box Ministries.

Police say shots rang out following an altercation between two people. Neighbors on scene Friday told 10 On Your Side there’s been a recent uptick in crime in the area.

A day later, the streets remain fairly empty – even on a holiday weekend. There’s no barbecues. Doors are shut, windows are closed and no one really ventured outside.

Bilal Muhammad, Chairman of the Stop the Violence Team, says there’s one explanation for that.

“They’re afraid. They’re afraid because any time children shooting children, it’s a very major problem,” he said.

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Organizers say the only pathway to healing involves coming together to find a solution, like the development of programs to keep kids out of trouble.

“One person cannot do this job. One organization cannot do this job. This job calls for the responsibility of everyone because it’s all of our concern,” said Muhammad.

Members of the team responded to the scene of a shooting the previous weekend after three shootings took place in a 24-hour period in Norfolk.

Still, members say they have hope for some positive change to come for the community.

“You have to have hope and you have to have faith,” said Pastor Williams.

Members of Stop the Violence Team say they’re currently communicating with city leaders to hold an event that’ll encourage unity amongst neighbors after the shooting.

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