NORFOLK, Va. — A shooting near Old Dominion University in Norfolk left two dead and five others hurt early Sunday morning.
The shooting happened around midnight in the 5000 block of Killam Avenue, the Norfolk Police Department said, which is just off ODU's campus and close to Colley Avenue.
When officers arrived on scene, they found four women and three men who had been shot, according to a police department statement released 12 hours after the shooting happened.
All of the injured were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where two later died. They have been identified as 25-year-old Zabre Miller and 19-year-old Angelia McKnight.
Interim Norfolk Police Chief Mike Goldsmith said in a press conference Sunday afternoon that people hurt during the shooting were found at and around the scene when police arrived, and that some had already started taking themselves to the hospital.
He said the initial investigation revealed that a party at that location had been advertised on social media and the shooting arose from a fight that broke out there.
Someone pulled out a gun during the fight and started shooting, which led to partygoers being hit by bullets, Goldsmith said. A handgun and a long gun were used, he said.
Casings from the scene have been sent to the The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to be run through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network database to see if any matches come back. The ATF has said they will expedite the process of examining the evidence, the interim chief said.
Detectives were still actively investigating the shooting and gathering evidence as of 1 p.m. Sunday, Goldsmith said.
Crime scene tape and blood stains were visible around the home where police say the shooting happened.
Precious Wood, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years, was at home when she heard gunshots around midnight.
“I just heard a bunch of shots. I thought it was like fireworks. It almost sounded like it was hitting my house. It was like a, ‘pew, pew, pew!’” Wood said. “It was very scary.”
Another neighbor Bradley Rippee also heard the violence.
“One of them was from one gun,” he said. “It was at least 30 [gun shots] coming out that one gun.”
He described a chaotic scene with people screaming and running through the neighborhood.
“I had people ducking on the porch,” Rippee said. “Running all around my house. Running all through their porch and their house.”
Another neighbor said bullets hit his Jeep parked nearby and shattered a window.
Wood and Rippee said parties are common in the neighborhood when college students are back on campus.
“They rent those out like that. So it is literally a flux of people coming in and out,” Wood said. “People will rent those just to have parties.”
An ODU campus alert sent around 7:45 a.m. said no ODU students were hurt. Some of those injured were Norfolk State University students, the university said in a tweet around 6 a.m.
NSU later posted on Instagram that though the investigation was ongoing, the university believed that initial reports indicated its students who were injured were innocent bystanders and that counseling would be available to those who needed it.
Following the shooting, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital went into lockdown just after midnight, a spokesperson for Sentara Healthcare confirmed.
"For a mass casualty incident, it is prudent to limit access to the hospital for the safety of our staff and patients," the spokesperson said. "For this incident, the lockdown ended after about an hour when hospital leadership determined the situation was stabilized and we could resume normal operations."
A spokesperson for the Chesapeake Police Department said the department sent four officers and a supervisor to the hospital to work traffic control while Norfolk police investigated.
A spokesperson for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a statement Sunday morning that the administration was monitoring what happened and would help with the investigation:
"The governor is closely monitoring the situation and prays for a full recovery for the students and victims impacted by this devastating shooting. As more details are uncovered, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bob Mosier and the Virginia State Police are coordinating with and offering assistance to local authorities."
U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, who represents Norfolk in Congress, is also keeping an eye on the situation.
“I am monitoring the developments in Norfolk this morning, and keeping everyone involved in my thoughts," Scott said in a statement. "Everyone in the area should continue following the directions of law enforcement.”
If you know anything that could help investigators, you can call the Crime Line at 1.888.LOCK.U.UP. You can also leave an anonymous tip online through P3 Tips.