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'Residents should be alarmed:' Virginia State Police address 18 interstate shootings in Hampton Roads this year

Virginia State Police is asking the public to report tips concerning these incidents to help them make arrests and prevent further violence.

NORFOLK, Va. — Virginia State Police released a statement Thursday about the agency's response to a recent uptick in interstate shootings across the Hampton Roads region and asked the public for help finding the people responsible.

According to police, there have been 18 shootings between vehicles on local highways since the start of the year, resulting in 6 people being injured. Seven of those shootings happened in Hampton, five in Norfolk, two each in Chesapeake and Portsmouth, and one each in Newport News and Virginia Beach.

"Hampton Roads residents should be alarmed by the number of shootings happening on our highways," said Captain Timothy Rebeil in a press release. Rebeil is the commander of the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Chesapeake Field Office.

He added that most of the shootings don't appear to be random acts. The victims and suspects have often been from the same communities, he said, and pre-existing relationships and events have often led to conflict, resulting in the shootings.

Some of the shootings are gang-related, and "others simply involve individuals in conflict," Rebeil said in the release.

State police say they have ramped up their investigative efforts to make arrests in every case and prevent more interstate shooting from happening. But Rebeil said police need the public's help.

"We know there are people out there who witnessed the disagreement that sparked an eventual shooting and/or know the suspects and the victims involved in these shootings. We need those people to come forward," he said.

"Staying quiet only empowers these dangerous criminals, and further victimizes and endangers the safety of our communities and highways."  

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Virginia State Police by dialing #77 on a cell phone or calling 757-424-6800 or emailing questions@vsp.virginia.gov. Anonymous tips are welcome.

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