NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Homicide detectives have charged a 17-year-old boy after two other teenagers were found shot dead early Thursday in a Newport News school parking lot. A fourth teen was injured in a related shooting.
Around 1:30 a.m., a 17-year-old male ran to a residence in the 800 block of Katherine Court to report he had been shot, according to MPO Donald Watt with the Newport News Police Department. Once officers arrived at the scene, emergency personnel transported the gunshot victim to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
As officers processed the scene, they discovered two more teenagers, shot to death, in the parking lot of nearby Saunders Elementary School. They have been identified as 16-year-old Bryant Wilder, Jr. and 17-year-old John A. Nieves, both of Newport News.
Newport News Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Price said the two victims attended Warwick High School. “It’s a tragedy, and I know the students will be missed by their classmates and the teachers,” she said.
Watt said their deaths are being investigated as homicide. The 17-year-old suspect was charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The suspect is being held in detention, but investigators have not released his identity. Virginia State Code prohibits police from identifying juveniles charged with criminal offenses.
At this time, police are not releasing the cause of the deaths, but investigators believe the double homicide and the shooting are related.
A neighbor who spoke to WAVY News’ Deanna LeBlanc Thursday morning expressed concern about safety in the area.
“I don’t want to come out at nighttime. We used to come out and drink coffee and hang out on the patio, but you never know what’s going to happen. I could be sitting in my recliner in the front door and somebody shoots through the windows. People are crazy out here,” said Sheree Lane.
A neighbor who asked to be identified as Ms. Wiggins, said she had lived in the neighborhood for 22 years. She saw police lights early Thursday morning.
“We’ve never had a problem on a school ground or anything. It’s just a sad time, I guess. This can happen anywhere,” she said.
A Parks and Recreation “summer adventure” program at Saunders Elementary School was moved to Deer Park Elementary, according to a spokesperson.
Stay with WAVY.com for the latest on this developing story.