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'My grandbaby saw the smoke' | Bullet strikes Newport News apartment during Independence Day shooting

Within a 12-hour span, the city of Newport News saw three separate shootings starting on the night of Independence Day and into Tuesday morning.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A night of family and fun quickly turned into a night of fear for Michelle Evans.

"I was sitting out here last night when the kids were asleep just crying, thinking, 'Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.' Because I’m not ready to go," she said. 

Within a 12-hour span, the city of Newport News saw three separate shootings starting on the night of Independence Day and into Tuesday morning.

The second of those shootings took place outdoors Madison Avenue just before midnight, and neighbors said that families and children were still outside celebrating the holiday at the time of the shots being fired. 

From her bedroom, Evans said she opened her door to the sound of her grandchildren screaming over the sound of the nearby gunshots. 

Upon further inspection, she noticed that a bullet had pierced through three walls in her apartment.

“I found out this morning my grandbaby saw the bullet smoke," she said. 

At this scene, a spokesperson for the police department said they found three gunshot victims, reporting one man with life-threatening injuries.

Hours before on 25th Street and Wickham Avenue before 10:30 p.m., officers found two boys shot there. Authorities said one of them has life-threatening injuries. 

The third overnight shooting happened just before 7 a.m. on J Clyde Morris Boulevard. Hours later, police identified Dominic Thompson, a 34-year-old from Hampton, as the victim in the fatal shooting. Poice said he died after being transported to the hospital.

Police identified persons of interest in this shooting Tuesday afternoon.

"There is an active neighborhood watch but many are elders. They’re not engaged with what’s happening on the streets," Yugonda Sample-Jones said, a Newport News resident who lives down the street from the Madison Avenue shootings.

She's part of a community group that met with police officers Tuesday to help curb violence in the city.

"We want to get more engagement with our neighborhood watch, a more positive relationship with our police department. They can call or text, to make sure we’re a part of the solution.”

The Newport News Police Department has not commented on whether any of these shootings are connected.

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