PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Lavandus Swindell spent time recently sweeping up the glass left behind from a shooting two weeks ago that put his car in the crossfire.
The shooting happened Nov. 17 in the 1100 block of Fayette Street. A 19-year-old sustained a serious gunshot wound but survived.
While Swindell cleaned up the glass on his street, he believes the people who should be cleaning up the crime in the area haven’t been doing their jobs.
“Someone’s got to do something other than come out here, put some tape around here and leave. I don’t think I’ve seen the police since,” said Swindell.
Swindell says this isn’t the first time his property has been damaged by bullets and it probably won’t be the last.
On the same street toddlers walk on, you’ll also find Swindell’s neighbor, whose car was also hit by gunfire on Nov. 17.
Five bullet holes were left in Shannon Carmack’s car. Her 19-year-old daughter was in the back seat listening to music at the time and was shot in the head. 30 stitches and 18 staples later, she’s fortunately on the road to recovery.
“It’s gangs out here and it’s just like no one is doing anything. If you know there’s gangs out here, get a gang unit out here,” said Carmack.
Carmack reached out to 10 On Your Side Tuesday, after she says she attempted to contact the Portsmouth police chief and city manager to no avail. We asked if the police chief wanted to be a part of this story and were directed to an online document on ways they are working to prevent crime.
“When you ask questions, you can never get any answers and I need answers,” said Carmack.
To help her get those answers, 10 On Your Side called Vice Mayor De’Andre Barnes, who met us outside Carmack’s home Wednesday morning to hear her concerns. After speaking with her, he contacted the police chief who said he’d send someone out to talk to her. Barnes says he understands what these community members are going through: He grew up on the same streets and lost his 12-year-old cousin to gun violence a few years ago.
“I think they need to make an effort to contact all of us because there’s some of us that will speak up against what’s happening, and they should get the help they deserve. The police should answer those questions, the police should come out here,” said Barnes.
Barnes also heard Carmack’s financial concerns with Christmas around the corner and offered to include her family in his annual Christmas Giveaway.