NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk Police are making a public plea after 15 people were shot over the weekend. The message: It’s time to come forward with information.
Five people have been arrested and linked to two shootings from Saturday.
Four of the suspects are facing charges related to the shooting near Thurgood Street early Saturday morning. The victims were standing in a field when shots were fired from a dark vehicle on Vernon Drive. Five people went to the hospital.
A fifth suspect was arrested for a shooting around the same time Saturday on E. Virginia Beach Boulevard. The 81-year-old victim, Ophelia Marcus, was shot in the hand while standing by her screen door.
Police say the investigation into the shootings is not over yet.
Officer Daniel Hudson, a Norfolk Police Dept. spokesman, said attention is focused on a shooting on W. 36th Street Saturday morning. Seven people went to the hospital for gunshot wounds. Police said an argument started in the middle of a block party. The suspect was told to leave, but instead started shooting into the crowd.
“What we need is more leads so we can start effecting more arrests,” said Hudson.
Hudson said they are appealing to the public for more information that could lead to arrests in the other shootings from Saturday. At the same time, the police department is renewing its efforts to bridge the gap between police and the community.
“What we need is a connection between the community and the police department,” said Hudson.
Hudson said there is a ‘no snitching’ stigma in too many communities. Many fear they will be retaliated against if they speak to police.
“We want to do our job to help people,” said Hudson. “But, when we actually go out to these crime scenes, nobody wants to cooperate. So we have victims, we have witnesses and no one wants to speak to the police department.”
Hudson said the police are making an effort to reach out to the community. There are extra patrols in the neighborhoods affected by the shootings, including bike officers. There are also investigators spending time in the community. Hudson added, the police department encourages people to start neighborhood watch groups or go to civic league meetings.
“We have community resource officers who go to every single civic league meeting discussing the issues within that neighborhood,” said Hudson.
Police are also reminding the public, you can stay anonymous and submit tips.
- Call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP
- Text “NORFOLK plus your message” to 274637 (CRIMES)
- Visit www.norfolkcrimeline.com
You can also call 911 and you don’t have to give your name.