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13News Now Investigates: More children shot in Portsmouth, Norfolk than other Hampton Roads cities combined

When looking at the last three years, Portsmouth and Norfolk combine to make up two-thirds of all fatal shootings involving children.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — More children are falling victim to gun violence each year in Hampton Roads.

13News Now reviewed every deadly shooting over the past three years in Hampton Roads, and found homicides claiming more children with each passing year.

For this story, we define children as anyone under the age of 18.

In 2019, seven children were shot and killed in Hampton Roads. The next year, 2020, that number more than doubled, to 15 kids. 

And last year, 2021, 19 children fell victim to gun violence. More than half of those young victims were killed in Portsmouth.

In fact, out of the seven cities, Portsmouth had the most children lost to gun violence between 2019 and March 2022 (followed by Norfolk).

Portsmouth and Norfolk combine to make up two-thirds of all fatal shootings involving children. The remaining one third consists of Newport News, Hampton, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake combined.

No children were shot and killed in Suffolk over the past three years.

Credit: Dan Kennedy

Of the 45 young homicide victims since 2019, the vast majority (82%) were boys, mostly in their mid-teens.

The latest tragedy came Sunday, March 6, when a 17-year-old boy was shot to death at a Norfolk gas station.

He is the fourth child shot and killed this year in Hampton Roads.

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