NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A shooting victim’s husband reached out to 10 On Your Side, hopeful that sharing his family’s story might bring new leads in the case.
On Oct. 25 around 3 a.m., Norfolk Police responded to a shooting at the Mariner’s Watch apartments in Ocean View. They said a 33-year-old woman had been shot, that she was in critical condition, and even days later, that they had not identified any suspects.
Eighteen days later, all of that is still true, according to a man named Kevin who says his wife, Natha is the 33-year-old victim. WAVY.com chose not to use their last name out of consideration for the family’s safety.
Kevin says up until that morning, his family’s life had been ordinary. He’s a sailor. His wife had been studying accounting and had a job lined up that she planned to start in early November. The couple has two children, a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy.
Natha, a fun, confident, active woman, had gone out with some friends from her gym on Saturday night. Several hours later, Kevin woke up to a call from one of her friends.
“She sounded a little bit frantic. She said, ‘your wife was just shot.’ So I said, man, look, it’s after 3 o’clock in the morning, this is not the kind of joke we need to be playing,” said Kevin.
It wasn’t a joke. The friend, Suzanne Hing said Natha had just dropped her off at home when she heard gunshots.
“I grabbed my phone to call her to ask if she heard the shots,” said Hing. “I called her three times, she didn’t answer the phone. It wasn’t until after about three or four minutes when she called me and told me she couldn’t breathe.”
By the time Hing realized what had happened, she said, police were on the scene.
When Kevin arrived around 3:25, he walked through yellow crime tape to find out what was going on. His wife was already in an ambulance, and police told him she had been shot in the leg.
“I didn’t think it was that serious at the time, they didn’t think it was that serious at the time,” he said.
Later, as he waited for an hour, then an hour and a half, then two hours without hearing from his wife’s surgeons, Kevin grew more concerned.
He knew it was bad, he said, when doctors brought him into a room and closed the doors.
“They didn’t quite know if she was going to make it through the day,” he said. “I didn’t know what to say, what to think.”
Natha did make it through the day, but not easily. In the coming days, doctors had to amputate her left leg.
Nearly three weeks later, she’s still in critical condition. Kevin’s photos and videos from inside her room show a woman heavily bandaged, with tubes coming from her mouth and nose. She opens her eyes, but they wander around the room, unfocused.
“I have to bring my kids here and they have a pretty rough time. My son doesn’t want to come to the hospital, because he doesn’t want to see his mother like that,” Kevin said. “He says he wants to see his mother just like she left home that night.”
Both kids are much quieter since the shooting. The first day his daughter went back to school, she ran the few blocks home from the bus stop.
“I asked her why, she said, ‘Daddy, I don’t want to walk out there. People are cruel. Look what happened to Mommy. I don’t know if I am next,'” Kevin said. “She’s 12 years old. You’ve literally taken my daughter’s innocence. That’s what they’ve done.”
Driving the fear is not knowing who would shoot his wife, or why.
“My wife has no enemies. We have no enemies,” he said. “Why would you shoot someone, just for the hell of it, just because she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time? Many days, I’m just sitting here at the hospital, and I’m hearing about all the shootings. You have to wonder if your number is going to be called next.”
As long as whoever is responsible for shooting his wife is still out there, Kevin said he doesn’t feel safe, and he doesn’t believe anyone else is, either.
“I know somebody knows something,” he said. “The hope is that somebody will come forward and say something.”
Friends of the couple set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to offer a reward for information, and to help the family buy a new car.
Natha was driving the family’s only car when she was shot. Now riddled with bullets, it’s being held by police as evidence.