US

The police chief says the fight over a spilled drink led to a shooting that killed 2 people, including journalist Sierra Jenkins

An argument over a spilled drink led to a shooting that killed two people, including a journalist, and injured three others outside a restaurant and bar in downtown Norfolk over the weekend, according to the city’s police chief.

Chef Larry Boone told the Downtown Norfolk Civic League on Monday night that the argument started inside Chicho’s Pizza Backstage early on Saturday but ended in a shootout outside, media reported. Sierra Jenkins, 25, a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press, and Devon Harris, 25, of Portsmouth, were caught in the line of fire and killed, police said. Three others were injured.

Jenkins was assigned to cover breaking news on Saturday, the newspaper reported, and when an editor initially learned of the shooting, he called Jenkins several times to ask him to come to the scene – without realizing that Jenkins was one of the victims of the shooting.

Shooting vigilante in a mall
Photos of Sierra Jenkins are displayed during a vigil on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at Granby High School in Norfolk, Va. Jenkins, a Virginian-Pilot reporter died in a Norfolk hospital after being shot in a shooting early Saturday outside a restaurant and bar.

Stephen M. Katz/AP


Her close friend, Demmi Nimer, was with Jenkins when gunfire broke out. “I’m devastated,” Nimer told the newspaper via text message. “I was with her when it all happened and I wish I could have done more to help her.”

Dozens of family and friends gathered at Granby High School in Norfolk on Sunday evening for a vigil honoring Jenkins, the newspaper reported.

Jenkins grew up in Norfolk and graduated from Georgia State University. She worked as an intern at Atlanta Magazine and CNN before joining The Pilot in December 2020.

“This is another incident in which conflict resolution did not exist,” Boone said.

Investigators don’t have solid leads on a suspect, but Boone said he was “cautiously optimistic” they would make an arrest based on where the shooting occurred.

Witnesses were still being questioned and a monetary reward is being considered, Boone said.

Saturday morning’s shooting in downtown Norfolk was just one incident in a violent 8-hour streak in Hampton Roads that left at least 15 people dead, four of them fatally, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Despite a staff shortage, enhanced patrols will begin on Thursday for greater peace of mind downtown, Boone said. Additional personnel will come from specialist units to supplement officers patrolling the city centre, he said.

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