NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — “She had those glasses on that night, and I will hold on to those forever,” said Maurice Jenkins, pointing to glasses up on a bookshelf.
Sierra Jenkins’ glasses were a trademark of hers. Her father says she was always in glasses.
“She was out on a Friday night getting back on the clock Saturday morning. She was being called to cover this story, her own story. That is what she was supposed to be doing Saturday morning,” he said.
Sierra Jenkins, a reporter at the Virginian-Pilot, was one of two people who were fatally shot on March 19 in the 300 block of Granby Street in Norfolk. Three other people were injured.
Maurice got the call from Sierra’s mother and went to the hospital that night. He said he’s upset about how he was treated, saying it was cold.
“I never saw a doctor. I was never able to go into the hospital. I was just standing in front of the emergency room for someone. They came out and showed me a picture on a cell phone of her laying in a bed,” he said.
Since then, Maurice Jenkins has had time to digest what else is wrong: No suspect, no motive, no cameras, no images of the shooter who took his daughter from him.
“If they had surveillance, it would be plastered all over the TV. If you see this guy, call 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, right? We don’t have that, so I believe there was no surveillance video is the truth… there is none,” he said.
He faults the City of Norfolk for failure to have that extra blanket of security: security cameras.
“We need surveillance out there. We need as much police presence out there as possible because if there are police all over the place, that will be a deterrent for people to pull out a gun and start shooting at people,” he said.
Jenkins watched WAVY’s story last week on eight Norfolk parking garages boasting surveillance cameras that don’t work and haven’t for about a year and a half.
He thinks Norfolk’s failure to have cameras in garages and on Granby Street is the problem. We asked Jenkins what his message would be to Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer.
“My message is to step it up. I don’t need to know every element of that plan… but do something,” he said.
Filer was watching our story on the parking garages too. He gets it. He says the cameras will be fixed by the end of the year.
Filer was asked about our investigation into the parking garage cameras not working for a year and a half.
“It was not much in advance of your story [that I learned of this],” he said.
We asked if there’s a concern about the non-functioning cameras.
“Oh massive. When we found out about it, we immediately started making enhancements,” Filer said.
For starters, the city has covered signs saying there are surveillance cameras, and they also cover up the cameras not working to make sure drivers are not depending on those cameras for property and personal protection.
Jenkins knows about snitches not wanting to talk; he says let the cameras do the talking.
“You would need less people to talk if you had cameras out on Granby Street, and cameras in these establishments,” he said.
Chicho’s Backstage had no comment when we went by.
We asked Jenkins about the panther tattoo on his arm. It will soon include his beloved Sierra.
“She likes sunflowers and then I will put on things to represent her like a pen and pad to represent journalism,” he said.