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New online dashboard maps gun violence across Hampton Roads

A new online tool takes a deeper look at gun violence in Hampton Roads.

NORFOLK, Va. — Hampton Roads is no stranger to gun violence, and now a new tool is available that maps out exactly when and where gun violence is most prevalent.

The Urban Renewal Center released an online dashboard that encompasses data including where a shooting has occurred, how many people were hurt or killed, and several other socio-economic factors.

"If you look at a map that takes place over many years and you have four, five, six shootings that take place in one location... you may only see one point," said Alex Fella, Research Director. "We use these hexagon bins that are color-coded that are based on the amount of shootings that have taken place in a quarter-mile radius." 

Overwhelmingly, the data shows how gun violence has been on the rise since 2018. The data is also unique in how it shows not only the trends but narrows it down to specific city blocks. 

Researchers also believe the data shows a direct correlation between poverty and gun violence.

"It's where people don't have access to a car, it's where there are food deserts, it's where neighborhoods are historically red-lined, it's where we see jobs disappear, it's where we see the dismantling of the working class," said Fella. 

Dr. Antipas Harris, who is president and founder of Urban Renewal Center, said this kind of information can be vital for lawmakers and non-profits. Harris said it's only when groups understand the underlying factors, that gun violence can be treated.

"We must take a look at, a hard look at the historic problems that lead to this type of carnage and when we take a look at it, we can be better as a result of it," said Harris. 

Researchers said their data gathering is far from over, and they plan to update the dashboard on a quarterly basis for years to come.


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