Two people died and eight people were injured Friday in shootings during a “chaotic night” on the Virginia Beach oceanfront, authorities said.
Officers patrolling the resort area heard multiple gunshots around 11:20 p.m. Friday, the Virginia Beach Police Department said in a news release.
The shooting started when a group of people “were involved in some type of conflict that resulted in a physical fight,” police said Saturday.
“At some point during the physical altercation, several individuals produced firearms and began shooting at each other, resulting in numerous people being wounded,” police said.
Multiple officers responded to shooting and found eight people who had been shot and had serious to life-threatening injuries, police said.
“Several minutes later,” as officers were managing a crowd that had gathered at the scene, officers heard more gunshots nearby.
Officers who responded to the second shooting found a woman with gunshot injuries who died at the scene. Police said the second shooting is “not currently believed” to be related to the initial incident.
Meanwhile, a third shooting happened in the same area of the second shooting when an officer “encountered an armed citizen,” which resulted in the officer fatally shooting the man, police said.
That officer has not been identified and has been put on administrative assignment pending an investigation, per standard procedure, the department said. The officer has worked with the department for five years.
“At some point” during the three shootings, another officer was also hit by a car and taken to the hospital, police said. The officer was treated and released.
“We have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night,” police Chief Paul Neudigate told reporters Friday night.
Several people were detained but how they’re linked to the separate shootings remains under investigation, the chief said. No suspect information was immediately available.
Two full blocks that made up a city owned parking lot remained blocked off by police tape on Saturday. Dozens of cars were inside the crime scene, with officers inspecting some of them. A couple of blocks away, a car that was surrounded by police tape sat in the middle of a street.
Akereia Drayton, who was still waiting to get her car from the lot on Saturday, told the Associated Press she was coming out of a club Friday night after the shooting ended and saw “mass chaos” and many people running.
“People were literally falling over themselves,” Drayton said. “There was a mass swarm of people that came to get to their cars. And then there was a wreck.”
Kevin Robertson, who lives a few houses away from the parking lot, said he was on his porch when the shooting began. He said the gunfire lasted for what seemed like 15 minutes.
“There were definitely two or three guns,” he said, adding he could hear gunshots coming from different areas outside of his house as time went on.
Bill Feis, who also lives a few houses away from the parking lot, said he was in bed and could hear people talking loudly before the shooting, which he said “sounded like someone threw a package of firecrackers.”
Contributing: The Associated Press