HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — The Hopewell Police Department is currently investigating a shooting that resulted in the death of an 8-year-old girl in the Arlington neighborhood of the city.
Around 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, officers were called to a residence in the 2300 block of Freeman Street for a reported shooting.
Upon their arrival, officers found an 8-year-old girl with an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. According to police, the officers secured the scene and initiated life-saving measures with Hopewell EMS. The girl was transported to TriCities Hospital where she later died from her injuries.
Witnesses told authorities that they had seen a light-colored four-door sedan with tinted windows driving through the area at the time of the shooting. Police believe the vehicle may be related to the homicide but a motive is unknown at this time.
The girl’s mother, Brionna Taylor, says she feels heartbroken and numb.
“It’s killing me to have energy in my legs to stand up and now I’m going home to five kids and not six,” she said. “Somebody has got to have a heart and turn themselves in! Just have a heart!”
Taylor told 8News that she was in the process of planning her daughter’s ninth birthday celebration for Tuesday, Jan 3., 2023.
“This angers me. I’m angry,” said A.J. Starke, Hopewell’s Chief of Police. “Kids should be able to play in their yard. They should be able to play in their yard.”
According to Starke, the victim was playing in the residence’s front yard when the suspect vehicle turned onto Freeman Street, slowed down and fired a single shot.
“Somebody knows who fired that shot,” Starke said. “Someone knows who was in that silver-colored vehicle that came down Freeman Street.”
The Hopewell Police Department Criminal Investigation Unit is continuing to investigate the incident.
The shooting occurred just blocks away from two other shootings that occurred the night before. One shooting involved a man who was shot in the elbow in the 1300 block of New York Avenue, while the other involved a car that had been damaged with consistent gunfire a little over an hour later — located in the 3000 block of Boston Street.
Hopewell Police have not said any of these shootings are connected at this time.
Anyone with information on the shooting is encouraged to contact the Hopewell Police Department at 804-541-2284.
CORRECTION: Hopewell Police originally reported that the victim was 7 years old. According to a spokesperson, she turned 8 years old. The story has been updated to reflect this.