1 dead, 1 injured in overnight Portsmouth shooting

Photo courtesy of family: Dante Austin

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth police are trying to find out who shot two men, killing one and injuring the other early Friday.

Photo courtesy of family: Dante Austin
Photo courtesy of family: Dante Austin

Investigators say they got a call around 2:30 a.m. Friday for shots fired on Buchanan Avenue at South Street. When officers arrived, they found two men shot inside a car that had been in an accident.

Around 1 p.m., police confirmed 32-year-old Dante Austin of Portsmouth died at the scene. According to a release, the other man had non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

A neighbor who has lived in the area for 10 years told 10 On Your Side, “I heard this loud boom.” It was not the sound 70-year-old Vera Whitley wanted to wake up to.

“Two minutes later I heard the gun shots. It was like ‘boom, boom, boom boom,’” Whitley said.

She had no idea things were so close to her home. Friday afternoon there was yellow tape still in her yard from the morning crime scene.

“It’s a scary feeling. It’s a scary feeling, and you wake up wondering what is going on out here,” Whitley said.

Around 3:30 p.m. Friday Dante Austin’s sister put up balloons and teddy bears as a makeshift memorial at the spot where he died.

Austin’s aunt Karen Anderson said her sister called her early Friday morning with the news.

“She said, ‘They killed my son.’ I was just devastated because he’s like a son to me too,” Anderson said. “My heart is heavy. So I know what she is going through.”

The news was heartbreaking for the family especially because Austin had just been released from prison a month and a half ago. He had served 15 years.

“He brought the family together [and] brought his mom and his sister closer because he didn’t know his sister. She was a little girl when he went to jail,” Anderson said.

The family had just begun to get re-acquainted. Now they are working through many emotions, hoping to one day get justice.

“I am so hurt. I’m angry, but I got to find some peace somewhere,” Anderson said. “It’s just horrible, horrible and I hope that they find the person that did this.”

Police have not made any arrests in this case.

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