The tally from a chaotic night of gunfire in Virginia Beach has risen to eight wounded and two dead as of early Saturday, authorities said.
One of the dead was a potential suspect shot by a Virginia Beach Police officer, the department said. Several of the injured are fighting for their lives in area hospitals.
The mayhem stretched across three different crime scenes, and included a police officer who was hurt after being struck by a car.
Several people were in custody, but had not yet been charged, according to local news station WAVY-Channel 10.
“We have several people that were stopped,” Police Chief Paul Neudigate said at a news conference a few hours after the shootings. “What their involvement in this incident is, we don’t know yet.”
The violence began around 11:30 p.m. Friday, when officers patrolling the main strip of the beachfront community heard gunfire.
They found eight gunshot victims when they got to the crowded scene, police said.
A woman, who may have been a bystander, died at the initial shooting scene from her injuries, according to local reports.
The first wave of gunfire may have been unleashed after a dispute, WAVY reported.
The crowd scattered, and about 20 minutes later, more gunfire erupted in a parking lot several blocks away, police said.
One man believed to have been involved in the first incident was killed in the parking lot after he was shot by a Virginia Beach police officer, but it’s unclear what sparked the encounter.
The officer involved in the shooting is a five year veteran of the Virginia Beach police who worked in the department’s Special Operations Division. The incident is under investigation, authorities said.
At least eight people were being treated at area hospitals for gunshot wounds, and ranged from stable to critical condition. Two gunshot victims walked in on their own, local CBS affiliate WTKR reported.
An officer was also struck by a car, and is in the hospital being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. A crumbled car and what appeared to be a police SUV with collision damage were in the middle of the street at one of the cordoned off crime scenes Saturday morning.
It was the third mass shooting in the U.S. in a week, coming on the heels of eight slain in three Atlanta day spas and 10 killed in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket.
The shooting took place nearly two years after a gunman opened fire in the Virginia Beach government building, killing 12 people. Shooter Dewayne Craddock, a city engineer, died in a shootout with police in the May 2019 massacre.