NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Norfolk Police are searching for a suspect after finding an Old Dominion University student with a gunshot wound around 1 a.m. Sunday on Bowdens Ferry Road.
“All I saw was cops running and they had dogs with them. And I saw one come down this way,” said Keshia Barnes, who lives nearby. ”I started getting freaked out and, I was like, ‘Is there someone on the loose? Should I be aware?’”
Medics transported the student to an area hospital where he is currently listed in stable condition, according to police spokesman Chris Amos. Police have not released the victim’s name, but a spokesperson for ODU confirmed the injured man is a student.
People who live near to the scene of the shooting told WAVY.com it happened behind an apartment building on the corner Bowdens Ferry Road and 40th Street.
Old Dominion University sent an alert to students around 2:30 a.m. describing the suspect as a black male, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing around 160 pounds, with dreadlocks that are shorter than shoulder length, wearing a blue button down shirt, blue jeans and a black vest.
Many students said they received the email on Sunday morning, and they weren’t surprised.
“I’ve been here for four years and it’s happened plenty of times,” said James Nay, a student. “So it’s almost like, we’re just kind of used to stuff like that happening.”
Nay said the crime happening right off campus is not ODU’s fault. He feels campus officials are doing a good job making sure students are safe.
“They’re doing the best they can to keep us safe,” said Nay. “I mean they’ve hired a lot of new officers and they’ve been patrolling really heavily. It’s definitely not something you could put on ODU.”
Back in August, police investigated a shooting on West 41st Street. It happened just a couple of blocks away from Sunday morning’s shooting. In that case, the victim was not a student.
One week later, six students were robbed near 42nd Street and Powhatan Avenue. ODU Police said four men stole students’ wallets and cell phones.
Campus officials suggest students use the University shuttle and Safe Ride to avoid walking alone at night.
The Lambert’s Point Civic League plans to meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Lambert’s Point Community Center to talk about Sunday’s shooting. The group’s vice president, Thomas Harris, told WAVY.com he would like to organize a walk against violence in light of the shooting.
“Trying to send the message to everyone that guns are not the answer,” Harris told WAVY.com. “They only get one life, one good opportunity; they don’t get a whole lot of chances. If you ride through the neighborhood, you can see back at 42nd Street and some of the other streets where a lot of the college kids are, all the beer cans and the beer bottles and stuff.”
Civic League member Regina Turner said she has lived in the neighborhood for many years and feels safe, but said students need to be careful late at night.
“The problem is that the kids are out late at night, walking back and forth, and it’s not safe because people from other places are coming out, robbing, doing other things,” Turner said.
Junior Alex Hojnicki said he received an alert about the shooting Sunday.
“I’m definitely concerned for the school, and whenever a fellow student gets shot or injured of that capacity, you always just mourn for the school,” Hojnicki said. “It’s one of those things where I’m here late at night and I always worry, but I try and park so I don’t have to walk too far. You just have to be smart about these things.”
According to Amos, investigators have not made any arrests and are still trying to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the shooting to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
ODU Alert email sent to students:
The Norfolk Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred at approximately 12:50 a.m. Feb. 16 at an off-campus residence located in the 4000 block of Bowden’s Ferry Road. The suspect fled the scene and one student has been injured and transferred to the hospital for treatment.
The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5′ 8″, 160 lbs., with dreadlocks that are less than shoulder length, and wearing a blue button down shirt, blue jeans and a black vest.
Anyone who may have information about this should contact the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-Lock-U-Up or the ODU Police Department Detective Bureau at 683-4000.
Police remind the community to follow these safety precautions:
*Control access to your residence.
*Contact police if you encounter aggressive individuals.
*Report suspicious persons and activities to police.