NORFOLK, Va. — Full of enthusiasm and passion: that’s how Sierra Jenkins' colleagues at The Virginian-Pilot will remember the young journalist.
“It just takes your breath away, it’s unfathomable,” said Pilot reporter Jane Harper.
After shots rang out on Granby Street early Saturday morning, staff members at The Virginian-Pilot said they called Jenkins to cover the breaking news.
Harper jumped in to help when no one could reach Jenkins.
“I wasn’t sure what was going on and then a couple of hours later, an editor called me and said another person died and it’s Sierra,” Harper said.
Colleagues said Jenkins joined the paper in 2020.
“She wanted to come back to her hometown and be a reporter here,” Harper said.
Jenkins' father said his daughter was out with a friend when the shooting happened. He said she just turned 25 this month.
“I think we were robbed of her full potential,” said former Pilot reporter Ana Ley. “She had some really cool projects in the works.”
Ley was Jenkins' former editor and said her passion jumped off the newspaper pages.
“She wanted to really do big things,” Ley said. “She cared a lot about investigative journalism and accountability journalism and wanted to make the world a better place.
Pilot reporter Saleen Martin said Jenkins became a close friend.
“Sierra was one of those people I would make time for,” Martin said.
Martin said Jenkins started talking about going back to school.
“I wanted her to be able to do that and it is so hurtful to think she won’t be able to do that now,” Martin said.
Jenkins' colleagues agree the budding journalist made the 757 a better place.
“She was an amazing person and I hope she is at peace,” Martin said.
Colleagues said Jenkins’ final story is online now and will appear in the Tuesday newspaper.