Gun possibly used in homicide mailed to Portsmouth police

(Photo: Portsmouth police)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth police say an anonymous citizen packaged a gun that may have been used in a homicide to send to the department.

A U.S. Postal Service worker found a package in a mailbox addressed to the police station and notified authorities. Inside the package was a gun that the anonymous sender believed was used in a homicide, police say.

(Photo: Portsmouth police)

Detective Misty Holley says the police department always receives tips and anonymous letters from residents.

“In my 10 years of being a police officer here at the Portsmouth Police Department, this is the first time I’ve seen someone mail a fire arm or attempt to mail a firearm that has been involved with any type of murder,” she said.

Police Chief Tonya Chapman wants to thank the citizen for “their gallant effort” to get the package to police to help in their investigation. However, Chapman also wants residents to know that mailing evidence that may have been used in a crime — especially a gun — isn’t safe. There are other options available to make sure police get property and evidence safely.

“By reminding citizens of the partnership we have with the Portsmouth Crime Line to receive anonymous tips, we are hoping to generate a response to action within the community,” Chief Chapman said in a statement Thursday. “We need our citizens to continue to assist us with information on crimes without the fear of reprisal and this can be accomplished through the Crime Line.”

Holley says if citizens would like to supply information, they can also visit the police department and leave information anonymously. She says it’s encouraging to see that citizens want to help solve crimes.

“The more our community members get involved in taking action in their community, taking back their community, being engaged, the better off the community is,” Holley said.

Within the coming days, Chief Chapman will be rolling out her newest initiative “1-G-4-PEACE” because of this incident and as part of the chief’s Community Awareness Reduction and Engagement (C.A.R.E.) program.