Norfolk Police chief asks community to help stop guns from ‘getting into the wrong hands’

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — With two shootings in a span of three days involving people who legally should not possess guns, the Norfolk Police chief is calling on adults in the community to help keep weapons out of the wrong hands.

“We can’t remain idle and expect this problem to fix itself,” Chief Larry Boone said in a news release Tuesday. “Everyone has a role to play in preventing guns from getting into the wrong hands.”

On Saturday, a Norfolk Police officer was involved in a shooting in the 800 block of E. Olney Road. The man who was shot by the officer suffered serious injuries. Police say he had outstanding arrest warrants and was in possession of a gun.

Two days later, on Monday, a man went to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with a gunshot wound. His injuries were not considered life-threatening, but police found he was a convicted felon. Police charged the man, 27-year-old Patrick A. Flanaghan, with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

“In 2017 through 2019, the Norfolk Police Department recovered 1,299 guns from people. 708 of those guns were recovered from convicted felons who don’t qualify to legally possess a firearm,” Boone said.

Norfolk Police said Boone has emphasized responsible gun ownership and “the importance of adult leadership in making a positive impact in the lives of our most vulnerable citizens” during his time as chief in the city.

“In less than 24 hours there was another shooting that involved someone who legally cannot have a gun, this is just another example of what happens when guns get into the wrong hands,” Boone said. “This is not a problem for the police to solve; this is a societal problem. And until we look it at from that direction, things will never change.”

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