Hampton, Va. – Thirteen homicide victims have been reported so far in Hampton this year. That number was four around this time in 2012.
“I wish I had a crystal ball and I wish I could tell you why,” said Cpl. Mary Shackelford with the Hampton Police Department.
Twenty-five-year-old Michael Lovelace is the latest victim. He was shot and killed Saturday on Milford Avenue.
“I heard maybe like 5,7 shots and it was close,” said Christina Walden, who lives on Shell Road.
“A lot of things are happening in this neighborhood that haven’t happened before,” said Otis Dabney who also lives on the same street.
Recently, Shell Road and its surrounding streets have been plagued with gunshots. It’s the same spot where the community had a “Stop the Violence” Festival earlier this month.
Since May, police tell NewsChannel 3 there have been five shootings on Milford Avenue, Shell Road, and Child’s Avenue. Two of those were deadly.
About two weeks ago, two babies were the shooting victims on Child’s. They are doing OK now, but police say they still don’t have a suspect.
“Just about at least once a week maybe, I hear gunshots,” Walden added.
In a recent city council meeting, Hampton police say it’s all hands on deck.
On Monday, they announced a new mobile command center that they’ll place around the city and encourage people to come up and report suspicious behavior.
“At some point, it will be at the Shell Road area,” Cpl. Shackelford said.
And that’s not all. Officers will be patrolling the city on bikes, going door to door, and using officers from other units.
But it may be too little, too late for some.
We asked Walden if she was considering moving and she said, “I’m honestly thinking about it because I feel like this neighborhood isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse.”