PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A man died after a shooting late Friday night in Portsmouth on Town Point Road, making this the third homicide in the city since the beginning of 2023.
Portsmouth City Councilman De’Andre Barnes spoke with 10 On Your Side and said he doesn’t see the violence slowing down in Portsmouth with the current city council in office. He believed that the city council doesn’t understand what is going on in the city.
“I don’t think they understand the issues to be able to fix the problems,” he said.
Barnes said the community is hurting and without a city council that understands, the violence will continue. When asked if he is optimistic about the violence calming down, he said, “I don’t think we have the council for that.”
He said giving people the opportunity to make livable wages would cause fewer people to turn to violence. Barnes said people who are not able to support their families choose other routes.
“You choose certain lifestyles, whether that be selling drugs or robbing someone. Whether that be anything we don’t see as positive,” Barnes said.
For those in Portsmouth who are struggling, he said he doesn’t have words to make it better.
“I’m going, to be honest, I don’t. At first, I used to have a positive message cause I thought we had a city council previously that really was concerned about the concerns of the people. Right now, I don’t know what to say,” he said.
Barnes said he’ll continue pushing city council to invest in living wages in the city and bettering education for children. He said if they don’t make changes, the violence will continue.