Portsmouth neighborhood looking for change following fatal shooting


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth police held a R.E.S.E.T. walk in the area of a deadly shooting over the weekend on Wilson Drive. 

R.E.S.E.T.  stands for Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma.

It’s not the first time one of these walks has been held in this neighborhood and people in the community say they want the crime out.

This is the 16th homicide of the year in Portsmouth and the 16th time police have held a community engagement walk.

Residents 10 On Your Side spoke with tell us while they appreciate the walks, unfortunately they’re used to the crime. 

“They need to be able to come out in the street and play and everything and don’t have to worry about somebody shooting,” said resident Larry Donnell.

Donnell said that’s the reality for families living in certain areas of Portsmouth.

On Sunday morning, police found a 33-year-old man shot to death in the 200 block of Wilson Drive

24 hours later, officers were scattered around the neighborhood on foot and on horseback looking for answers.

“Most importantly, we’re out here trying to touch base, individually with the residents to see if they have any issues or concerns or just to share that information of what may have led to that homicide,” said Chief of Police Tonya Chapman.

However some residents said it’s not that easy. They didn’t want to go on camera for fear of retaliation saying they feel safer if they just keep quiet.

Still, Chief Chapman said the walks are working.

“It is very receptive. It is having a positive effect. It has led to some information to help close cases,” she said.

Residents here tell us they want something else done.

“One of the things that I’ve been interested in is reentry programs for inmates,” Donnell said.

Others said more activities and after school programs to keep kids out of trouble are needed too.
One thing all can agree on — it starts within the community.

“We got too many communities in Portsmouth with negatives behind their names,” Donnell said. “It could’ve been your son, your daughter been shot. How would you feel? We gotta get ahead of it.”

Chief Chapman said the department does increase patrols in areas that are known to be issues around the city.

10 On Your Side is still working to get a breakdown of the amount of crime in the area.

We’ll be sure to update you when that information comes into our newsroom.

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