NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Newport News police investigators are handling more cases of deadly crime. The city already surpassed its total number of homicides in all of last year, according to 13News Now records.
Just on Monday, separate incidents helped push that number well over the edge. Two men died after getting shot within a span of 12 hours in the Southeast community, detectives said.
Officers responded to The Towers high-rise apartments on Waterfront Circle after 1 a.m.
"I looked out the window and was like 'Oh my goodness. What is going on?' This is too much. I don't feel safe anymore," Newport News resident Sararita Clark told 13News Now's Kaicey Baylor.
Police identified the victim as Ashford Carter, 39, of Newport News.
Officers said they made a quick arrest, taking 30-year-old Quashawn Cooper of Newport News, into custody for the shooting on Waterfront Circle. His charges are pending.
Just before 12:30 p.m., police investigators rushed out to 22nd Street near Roanoke Avenue.
A neighbor told 13News Now he found a man's body behind a vacant home. Police have not yet released his name or age, but they did say the victim was shot.
Some people who live nearby said off-camera that they did not hear any shots mid-day Monday. Still, they noted that shootings are far too common in the neighborhood.
To put in perspective, our records show Newport News had 31 homicides in all of 2022. The latest incidents Monday raised that number to 35, so far this year.
2023 could break the record set for the city in 1994, when FBI data show 44 people were killed in the city.
Rev. Dr. Willard Maxwell with New Beech Grove Baptist Church recently participated in a forum focused on proposing crime-fighting initiatives to the Office of the Attorney General.
"We all came together to put together a strategic plan," said Maxwell.
He believes in working together, improving assistance for parents, enhancing after-school programs and empowering young people are among parts of the solution.
"It takes a village to raise our kids, and we definitely have to work together," said Maxwell. "Until we teach them to value their own life, they will never value anyone else's."
As an involved member of the community, Maxwell has made it a yearly tradition to host basketball tournaments featuring friendly competition, including youth, neighborhood teams and law enforcement agencies.
"We want to create those positive spaces, where they see each other as human beings," the pastor added.
Anyone with information about what happened in either shooting is asked to call 911 or the non-emergency number at 757-247-2500. People can also leave a tip by calling 1-888-562-5887 or online using P3 Tips.