‘It sounded like a war zone’: Petersburg residents still reeling from shooting that sent 9-year-old girl to hospital

The Tri-Cities

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A 9-year-old girl was shot in the elbow during an apparent gun battle outside her Petersburg apartment.

Police said a stray bullet from gunfire, which happened across from the girl’s apartment, went through the building and hit her. She was taken to the hospital where the bullet was removed.

There were multiple casings found outside the Petersburg East Apartments, authorities told 8News, indicating there may have been an exchange in gunfire.

“It’s frustrating, it’s upsetting that people are reckless with their handling of firearms. They have no concern about a human life. They don’t care who’s around, who it could affect,” said Petersburg Police Captain Emanuel Chambliss.

Renee Starks Washington’s car was hit multiple times during the gunfire. She opened the trunk Friday to find a bullet still inside her car.

“It sounded like a war zone,” said Starks Washington. “When I heard the little girl was shot, it really, really upset me because I felt bad when my car was damaged, but I felt even worse that someone so young got injured.”

Marcellus Jackson’s daughter and two-year-old grandson live in the apartment homes on Navajo Court.

“She said five or six gunshots. It woke him up, he’s crying,” Jackson said, describing what his daughter and grandson heard. “It’s horrible when you hear something’s going on. I’m thinking it’s him, I’m rushing down here​.”

This was the first of two shootings in Petersburg within the last 24 hours. On Friday morning, a 21-year-old man was shot outside a home on St. John Court. Chambliss called the violence “frustrating.”

“Petersburg is not a big city, but we’re experiencing a lot of violence. People are resorting to picking up a weapon to resolve their differences and this is the end result. We’re getting people shot. We’re getting people killed,” Chambliss said.

Police are asking anyone who knows information about either shooting to call Crime Solvers. Crime Solvers pays a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.


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