Norfolk police chief hosts ‘Guns Down’ community gathering, will host another in Norview next week

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — City leaders and residents are working to stop gun violence in Norfolk.

Norfolk Police Chief L.D. Boone hosted another “guns down” community gathering Thursday night at Berkley Park.

Boone started the initiative to get people talking about gun violence.

It comes as police are investigating two shootings in the Norview neighborhood — the most recent of which left a man critically injured.

“Oh, it’s terrible.”

Chris Ricks is talking about Alexander Street and her surrounding neighborhood in Norview, the scene of two shootings this week.

In one, a man was shot dead around the corner on Strand Street. His alleged shooter was found on Alexander, also shot.

And then last night, when police say a man was shot on Alexander at about 11 p.m. Neighbors are not surprised.

“It shouldn’t be a normal thing, but sad to say, a lot of people around here are used to it, unfortunately,” said Shawn Wiley.

Another man who gave his name only as John, described his neighborhood as bad and getting worse.

“There’s nothing you can do about it. You never know what’s gonna happen. I almost lost two friends back to back so you know how I feel.”

Police charged 22-year-old Shakir Holley in the Tuesday morning killing. No word yet on a suspect in Wednesday night’s shooting.

“I don’t know why people are shooting each other. I mean, people just don’t care any more,” Ricks said.

Norview residents want a reason for hope, that their nights will get a little quieter, their streets a little less violent. They say it’s become an arms race.

“I have handguns and a rifle in my home for protection, but that doesn’t make me feel any better because I know anybody out here can go out and grab one too,” Wiley said.

Next week, Norfolk Chief Boone will hold his next Guns Down community conversation about gun violence in Norview.

John says the chief will be wasting his time.

“Did it help any other time? No, and it’s still going on now, so if it ain’t help then, what’s it gonna help now?”

We asked him about any hope he has for the gun violence to get any better.”There is no hope. We live out here. Y’all don’t.”

Boone says he’s concerned with the number of guns ending up in the hands of young people. “Some guns are left in cars unsecured, some are taken during burglaries and some are being accessed through other means that are not necessarily legal,” Boone said.

The chief says his goal is to come together as a “family” to address the problem.

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