NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Since June, eight people were shot in five separate shootings in the Young Terrace neighborhood of Norfolk.
Most recently, a 22-year-old man was shot and left with serious injuries, Monday. Wednesday, July 19, a 35-year-old man and a 7-year-old girl were caught in the crossfire.
Thomasine Sears has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years and said the crime keeps getting worse.
“Yeah it’s scary,” said Sears. “It’s real scary now because I remember the times I didn’t mind walking in the park but I don’t walk [in] it now.”
Former NFL star Aaron Rouse grew up in Young Terrace and said the shootings can be explained by a lack of activities for teens.
“School is out, summer is here, and what you have is a lot of teens with basically nothing to do, getting in to crime,” said Rouse.
Rouse said the city needs to invest in the communities more in order to break the cycle of poverty and crime.
“Introducing ways to get out of poverty and that is, you know, whether it’s summer jobs or creating more educational programs – more proactive sources and things to kind of get them away from turning towards crime,” said Rouse.
The Norfolk Police Department said they’re addressing crime in the neighborhood through increased patrolling – such as additional police vehicles, bike teams and officers on walking beats. A spokesperson said the presence serves as a deterrent to crime, but Rouse disagrees with this approach.
“If you take a look at the whole plan, that’s a retroactive plan,” said Rouse. “We need to be proactive, that means actually putting resources within these communities that prevent these kids from taking the wrong path.”
There are currently no suspects in the five shootings and anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.