Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith spoke to the Norfolk City Council on Tuesday afternoon about last Friday’s shootings that resulted in the deaths of a Norfolk Police officer, a teenager, and the suspect.
Chief Goldsmith briefed the council and provided several new details on the events that occurred that night.
The chief said that while the shooter, James Brown, was driving down Chesapeake Boulevard on what seemed like a random shooting spree, bullets struck several vehicles in addition to 17-year-old Mark Rodriguez’s.
He shot an unoccupied vehicle at a gas station and a vehicle on Tidewater Drive that was carrying a family. None of the occupants were struck by bullets, but they were injured by flying debris.
Chief Goldsmith also told the council that Officer Curtis Allison, who was also shot that night, was off-duty when he heard what was going on. He put on his tactical vest, grabbed his gun and badge, and went to help Officer Brian Jones look for Brown.
Officer Allison was shot in the hip and has since been released from the hospital.
The chief continued to talk to the council about the tremendous support that Norfolk Police has received from the community this week.
He also praised the officers in the department, saying, “I’m proud of them.”
The chief, trying to keep his composure, told the Council this:
“I am as proud as I can be of them and their performance in this. The way they have rallied around his family. The way they have rallied around each other. I am proud of them, and proud to say I am one of them.”
During questions following the briefing, Chief Goldsmith declined to comment on Brown’s mental health but he said that is something they are “looking into.”
The council spoke about gun violence in the city, and the need for a public safety memorial to honor fallen officers like Brian Jones.