VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA (AP) — Overnight shootings near the Atlantic oceanfront in Virginia Beach left two people dead and eight wounded in a scene described by authorities on Saturday as “very chaotic”.
A woman who died was likely an innocent bystander, authorities said, while the other person, a Black man, was killed by a police officer. It was not clear if the man was armed and the officer’s body camera was not activated at the time of the shooting.
Three men ranging in age from 18 to 22 have been arrested and face charges that include felonious assault and reckless handling of a firearm, Virginia Beach police said in a statement on Saturday.
The first shooting occurred shortly after 11pm on Friday along an outdoor strip of hotels, clubs and restaurants that was densely packed with people on one of the first warm days of the year.
Witness Akereia Drayton said on Saturday that she was coming out of an establishment on Friday night after the shooting ended and saw “mass chaos” and many people running.
“People were literally falling over themselves,” Drayton said.
Investigators believe the first shooting stemmed from a fight involving a group of people, police said.
“Several individuals produced firearms and began shooting at each other, resulting in numerous people being wounded,” the police department statement said.