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Portsmouth police need help to identify suspect in shooting of 11-year-old boy

Surveillance video released by Portsmouth police shows a red car that may be connected to the shooting on Tuesday.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Community activists are trying to make the streets safer after another round of violence put a child in the hospital. 

Portsmouth police are still looking for a suspect in the shooting of an 11-year-old boy on Merrimac Drive around 6 p.m. Tuesday. The child is expected to recover, according to police. 

Investigators released surveillance video depicting two vehicles, a blue pickup truck and a red car, which police said could be Honda. 

On Thursday, police gave an update to say that they had located the owner of the pickup truck and that "he is not considered a suspect at this time."

Investigators are still searching for the red car.

“It saddens me to know that innocent kids can’t go outside and play," said Rickey Harrell, who said he once lived in that neighborhood. 

A woman, who did not want to be identified, said her children ran inside the house after the shooting happened. She said she is worried for their safety and she is trying to relocate. 

"I am beyond a 10," said Harrell when asked his frustration on a scale of one to 10. "These are repeated situations which half the time could be prevented." 

Harrell is a board member of Stop The Violence 757, a grassroots organization working to curb violence in Hampton Roads. 

On Saturday, June 25 at 9 a.m., the group will host a community clean-up event at 1601 Effingham Street, which is a four-minute drive from where the shooting on Merrimac Drive. 

The event will also offer gun locks to the community. 

"Because guns are probably not locked up at home, so they probably have easy access," said Harrell. 

The group is looking for volunteers. Harrell said many people in the community are afraid to get involved, but he said things will not change until neighbors are actively involved. 

"I can understand their point of view but the problem ain’t gonna go away by itself. You got to get involved," said Harrell. 

Portsmouth police said Stop The Violence 757 is one of several grassroots organizations working with the department as part of its update Crime Intervention Plan. 

On Wednesday, Portsmouth police went door-to-door in part of Community Walk on Greenwood Drive. On this street Sunday, an officer shot and injured a man, who they said brandished a sharp object while police responded to a service call. 

Virginia State Police are investigating that case, and a Portsmouth police spokesperson did not have any updates when asked Wednesday. 

Anyone with information about the shooting on Merrimac Drive is asked to call police or the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. 

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