Man dies after being found shot in Portsmouth alleyway

WAVY Photo/Walter Hildebrand

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A death investigation was launched in Portsmouth Tuesday morning after a person was found unresponsive. The investigation is now considered a homicide.

Kirshem Sanders (Family photo via Portsmouth police)
Kirshem Sanders (Family photo via Portsmouth police)

Officers were called to the scene around 8:30 a.m. Police say a man was found in an alleyway off Maryland Avenue with gunshot wounds to his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have identified the man as 30-year-old Kirshem Sanders, of Virginia Beach.

Jeff Johnson, who lives in the area, says he called police after finding the man’s body.

“I walked back into the back of my house, and I saw a gentleman laying behind some bushes with his arms sticking up in the air,” Johnson said. “And he had a pair of shoes laying in the middle of the alleyway, just probably three or four feet away from his body.”

Johnson and several neighbors who spoke with 10 On Your Side said they did not hear any gunshots.

“I’m super surprised to see something like that in my backyard and I wish I wouldn’t have seen it,” said Johnson.

Several neighbors, including Christine Embrey, expressed concern Tuesday, because they say children often play in the alleyway where the man was found dead.

Embrey has a 16-month-old son who plays in the area quite often.

“It’s not just him, there’s tons of little kids on this street and the kids in this apartment building right behind us, they play in the alley sometimes. So my first thought is what if one of the kids came across the body? Because that’s, that’s traumatizing,” said Embrey.

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