VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Overnight shootings along the beachfront in Virginia Beach left two people dead and eight wounded in a scene described by authorities on Saturday as “very chaotic.”
In a statement, the Virginia Beach Police Department said the first shooting occurred shortly after 11 p.m. Friday, when police who were patrolling the area heard gunfire.READ MORE: Tractor-Trailer Overturns On I-95 Near Belcamp, 2 Left Lanes Remain Closed
Several minutes after police responded, police officers heard additional gunshots nearby and found a woman who died of her injuries. Investigators believe the woman’s fatal shooting was not related to the initial shooting.
While officers were investigating the shootings, shots were fired nearby, said Police Chief Paul Neudigate. An officer confronted a male suspect and fatally shot him. The officer has been placed on administrative leave. He has been with the department for five years and is assigned to its special operations division.
“We have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night,” Neudigate said.
In a news release Saturday, police said investigators believe the first shooting stemmed from “some type of conflict” and a fight involving a group of people.
“At some point during the physical altercation, several individuals produced firearms and began shooting at each other, resulting in numerous people being wounded,” the statement says.
A total of 10 people were wounded by gunfire, including the two who died, according to police. In addition, an officer sustained minor injuries after being struck by a vehicle, according to Neudigate. The injured officer has been released from a hospital, police said.
Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital spokesman Andrew Helquist said four people treated for gunshot wounds were in stable condition on Saturday, while four others had been released from the hospital.READ MORE: Decomposing Woman Body's Found In Baltimore
No suspect information was immediately available. Neudigate said several people were in police custody, but their possible involvement in the shooting was still under investigation. He said he believed the incidents all took place outdoors.
Two full blocks that mostly made up a city owned parking lot remained blocked off by police tape on Saturday. Dozens of cars were inside the crime scene, with officers inspecting some of them. A couple of blocks away, a car that was surrounded by police tape sat in the middle of a street.
Akereia Drayton, who was still waiting to get her car from the lot on Saturday, said she was coming out of a club on Friday night after the shooting ended and saw “mass chaos” and many people running.
“People were literally falling over themselves,” Drayton said. “There was a mass swarm of people that came to get to their cars. And then there was a wreck.”
Kevin Robertson, who lives a few houses away from the parking lot, said he was on his porch when the shooting began. He said the gunfire lasted for what seemed like 15 minutes.
“There were definitely two or three guns,” he said, adding that he could hear gunshots coming from different areas outside of his house as time went on.
Bill Feis, who also lives a few houses away from the parking lot, said he was in bed and could hear people talking loudly before the shooting, which he said “sounded like someone threw a package of firecrackers.”MORE NEWS: WATCH: Maryland NAACP Calls For Ocean City Police Officers In Arrest Video To Be 'Removed From Posts' Until Investigation Is Complete
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