Monday, September 25, 2023

VSP Addresses Threat of Interstate Shootings in Hampton Roads Region

SUFFOLK — The Virginia State Police (VSP) Bureau of Criminal Investigations said Thursday that as the number of interstate shootings escalates within the Hampton Roads region, so are its investigative measures to prevent them.

According to VSP, from Jan. 1, through June 7, its Chesapeake Division has responded to 18 shootings between vehicles on the region’s interstates. Of those, six have resulted in six injuries, adding there have been no deaths resulting from this year’s interstate shootings.

Of the 18 shootings, seven occurred in Hampton, five in Norfolk, two each in Chesapeake and Portsmouth and one each Newport News and Virginia Beach, it said.

“Hampton Roads residents should be alarmed by the number of shootings happening on our highways,” said Captain Timothy A. Reibel, Commander of the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Chesapeake Field Office. “Virginians have a right to safely travel.  The Virginia State Police, in partnership with local Hampton Roads law enforcement agencies, have been diligently pursuing all leads, evidence and resources available to us to make arrests in these incidents and prevent the next one from happening.”

VSP said there is no indication that the majority of interstate shootings are random acts, and no one individual is responsible for all of them.

State police noted a majority of the shootings share commonalities: the victims and suspects are from the same communities, and there are existing associations and relationships with precipitating events which have resulted in conflict. While some are gang-related, others involve individuals in conflict.

“State police is committed to doing everything we can to make an arrest in every one of these interstate shootings, but we cannot do it alone. We know there are people out there who witnessed the disagreement that sparked an eventual shooting and/or know the suspects and the victims involved in these shootings. We need those people to come forward. Staying quiet only empowers these dangerous criminals, and further victimizes and endangers the safety of our communities and highways,” said Reibel.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police by dialing #77 on a cell phone, calling 757-424-6800 or emailing Anonymous tips are welcome.

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