Norfolk community leaders want to ‘stop the violence’ through community conversations


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — After a deadly Thursday night shooting became Norfolk’s third homicide in a 24-hour period, the Stop the Violence Team says it’s time for the community to choose conversations over violence.

Bilal Muhammad says he hopes the team can bring more of their neighbors to the table as a community to discuss ways to minimize violent acts taking place.

“Bullet for bullet, let us stop that foolishness and let us sit down as young men and say, ‘Hey, enough is enough,'” he said. “We losing lives, we losing precious life over nothing.”

James Washington, Jr. was at the Shop ‘N Go on Virginia Beach Boulevard Thursday night, working to help the community by handing out clothes to the homeless when shots rang out.

“All of a sudden, we heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. Like, it was rapid gunfire. Like they were shooting at each other. Then we heard two or three bullets hit cars over there,” he said.

Pastor Terence Williams says the community needs to not hesitate to speak out when violent acts happen.

 “Would you want someone to say something to you if it was one of your loved ones? And so sometimes, it doesn’t hit home, until it actually hits home,” he said.

Community organizers say it’s time for their neighbors to step up and take it upon themselves to demand an end to violence in the community.

“But the only way they can change their direction is to start standing up and demanding that these violence stop in order for them to move forward for their community, their family, themselves,” said Muhammad.

The Stop the Violence Team will be back at the Shop ‘N Go on Virginia Beach Boulevard in Norfolk for a rally Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. to have more conversations with community members.

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