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2 dead, 8 injured in multiple shootings in Virginia

Police describe ‘very chaotic incident’ as officers respond to at least two scenes along Virginia Beach oceanfront

Police respond to a shooting at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront area in Virginia Beach on March 26, 2021. (Screenshot/WAVY News)
Police respond to a shooting at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront area in Virginia Beach on March 26, 2021. (Screenshot/WAVY News)

Two people were killed and another eight were injured in a shooting involving at least two separate locations in Virginia Beach on Friday night, according to police.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said a preliminary count for the number of people shot along Virginia Beach’s oceanfront was 10, including one person killed by police, another killed by gunfire, and eight with shooting injuries, according to local news station WAVY TV 10.

All eight were taken to local hospitals, with some of their conditions ranging from serious to life-threatening.

One woman died of a gunshot wound on the scene, the police said in a news release. At an earlier news conference, Neudigate said the death possibly stemmed from an unrelated shooting.

Police were called late Friday night around 11 p.m. local time to an oceanfront area at 20th Street and Atlantic Avenue after people heard gunfire. While on the scene, shots rang out in another area, on 20th Street and Pacific Avenue, where police said a uniformed officer confronted an individual “resulting in a police intervention shooting.”

That person is “deceased,” Neudigate told the station.

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.

The original shooting and the officer shooting were being investigated concurrently, the release said.

“What you can see is we have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night in the Beach,” Neudigate said. “Many different crime scenes.”

An officer was also struck by a vehicle during the investigation and taken to a hospital. The officer’s injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

Police blocked off several areas leading to the areas and instructed people to avoid certain roads as the investigation gets underway.

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.

The Virginia Beach incident came days after 10 people were killed at a Boulder, Colorado supermarket this week, including a police officer.

The suspect in that shooting, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, was taken into custody and faces charges of murder and attempted murder for allegedly shooting at another police officer, who was unhurt.

Police work on the scene outside of a King Soopers grocery store where a shooting took place on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Alissa appeared in court for the first time on Thursday, and a defense attorney immediately asked that he receive a mental health evaluation before the case against him proceeds.

Alissa did not enter a plea, which will come later in the judicial process. He has been jailed without bail.

Last week, eight people were killed — seven of them women and six victims of Asian descent — in a shooting spree at multiple locations in Atlanta, Georgia. Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested and is facing murder charges.

The March 16 attack sent terror through the Asian American community, which has increasingly been targeted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Long told police the attack was not racially motivated. He claimed to have a “sex addiction,” and authorities said he apparently lashed out at what he saw as sources of temptation. But those statements spurred outrage and widespread skepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.

On March 19, 2021, flowers, candles and signs are displayed at a makeshift memorial in Atlanta. A deadly rampage at three Georgia massage businesses, where the employees were mostly of Asian descent, has prompted Asian American women to openly share stories of being sexually harassed or demeaned based on their race. (AP Photo/Candice Choi, File)

The Atlanta attack was the sixth mass killing this year in the US at the time, and the deadliest up to then since the August 2019 Dayton, Ohio, shooting that left nine people dead, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.

It followed a lull in mass killings during the pandemic in 2020, which had the smallest number of such attacks in more than a decade, according to the database, which tracks mass killings defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter.

The Boulder shooting brings the mass killing incident count in the US to seven so far in 2021.

On Thursday, a grocery store worker in Atlanta may have prevented another mass shooting when he quickly alerted police after hearing “clicking sounds” that sounded to him like someone was loading weapons inside a restroom stall. The worker told police he then saw an “AR-15-style rifle” leaning against the wall.

The sharp-eyed Instacart worker is getting credit for helping officers to stop the man wearing body armor and carrying a half-dozen guns from roaming through the Publix grocery store Wednesday, police said.

This photo provided by the Atlanta Police Department shows weapons Rico Marley was armed with at the time of his arrest on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Authorities say Marley, who walked into an Atlanta grocery store with multiple guns and body armor, was spotted by a witness who immediately became suspicious and alerted management. (Atlanta Police Department via AP)

The new details are included in police incident reports released Thursday by Atlanta police. The man’s intentions are not explained in the reports.

Officers intercepted the suspect, Rico Marley, 22, at the store and arrested him without incident.

Marley waived his initial court hearing Thursday. He’s charged with five counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony; and six counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, police said.

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