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Man shot and killed at Portsmouth bar, 20-year-old arrested

Homicide detectives have arrested a man in connection to the shooting death of a man at a Portsmouth bar.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Homicide detectives have arrested a man in connection to the shooting death of a man at a Portsmouth bar.

The victim, 34-year-old Jermaine Marcus Iriarte, was shot in the upper body around 1:09 a.m. Tuesday at the "Cock Island Bar and Grille" at 606 Airline Boulevard.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Thursday, Portsmouth police arrested 20-year-old Nicholas Kyle Moffitt in connection to the crime. He has been charged with 1st-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Credit: Portsmouth Police
Nicholas Kyle Moffitt

Police are also investigating a possible second crime scene down the street from the restaurant, at a nearby 7-Eleven. Investigators said the two scenes appear to be connected, although they would not say in what way.

Paula Jones owns Ms. P's Tailoring, a business next to the Cock Island Bar and Grill. She said she wasn't surprised when she learned there was a homicide early this morning.

"Airline Blvd, Cock Island. I knew it," said Jones. "It's just like it's coming to be now, anything shooting or bar, it's Cock Island."

Portsmouth police said there have been several calls for service made from the bar. Last year, there were two. One of them was in regards to a stolen vehicle. This year, there have already been three, including Tuesday morning's homicide.

The other two involved a suspicious person and a fight at the bar.

But Tuesday's incident ended in someone being killed. Jones said the crime is getting out of hand.

On Tuesday, the owners placed a sign on the bar's front door. It read "closed until further notice."

They spent the entire morning cleaning up the damage and broken glass left behind. One of the owners told 13News Now he was not at the bar when the shooting happened but said he had been awake since 1:30 a.m.

Two owners declined to give further details and did not want to be interviewed on-camera. Jones said they're great people.

"I don't want him to shut down, I just want him to look at what has happened in the last shooting, [and think] what do I need to do to prevent this?" said Jones.

Frank Ensley's apartment is next to the bar.

"I was watching TV and I heard four gunshots, and I just laid in my bed until I hit the floor," said Ensley. 

He said he is tired of hearing gunshots in the area, but can't afford to move elsewhere.

"I feel a little scared, but I always hit the floor," said Ensley. "We just need more lighting around here." 

For Jones, the word "scared" does not describe how she feels.

"No, tired," said Jones. "Aggravated about it, because something can be done to stop it."

Police are asking anyone who may have information about this shooting to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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