Overnight shootings near the Atlantic oceanfront in Virginia Beach left two people dead and eight wounded in a scene described by authorities as “very chaotic.” Three men ranging in age from 18 to 22 have been arrested and face charges that include felonious assault and reckless handling of a firearm, Virginia Beach police said in a statement on Saturday.
The first shooting occurred shortly after 11 pm Friday along an outdoor strip of hotels, clubs, and restaurants that was densely packed with people on one of the first warm days of the year.
Witness Akereia Drayton said Saturday that she was coming out of a club on Friday night after the shooting ended and saw “mass chaos” and many people running.
“People were literally falling over themselves,” Drayton said.
Investigators believe the first shooting stemmed from a fight involving a group of people, police said.
“Several individuals produced firearms and began shooting at each other, resulting in numerous people being wounded,” the police department statement said.
Officers patrolling the area quickly responded, police said. But more gunfire followed several minutes later.
Police said they found a female bystander about a block away who died of her injuries from a second shooting incident. Investigators believe the woman's death was not related to the initial shooting.