Hampton’s Buckroe Beach remains busy despite nearby violence

HAMPTON, Va. - Buckroe Beach remains busy despite nearby violence over the past few days.

Over the weekend, two children were among four people shot. On Monday, an 18-year old was shot on Wise Road, which is about about a mile from the beach.

In addition, the search for 2-year old Noah Tomlin is happening in the water and in the surrounding area.

Several beach goers said they weren't aware of the violence. One family said they had second thoughts about coming back, but felt they'd be safe during the day.

Another man said he felt the incidents are coincidental.

"If it was a repeat occurrence or something you might change your mind about coming down here, but that could happen anywhere at any time," said Kevin Riddick.

With several investigations happening at the same time in the same general area, police and first responders have a visible presence. "It reassures that this is a family place and it is safe for your family," Riddick said.

Still, the violence has many wondering what can be done to stop it. News 3 spoke with Mike Smith, the pastor of Restoration Church on Fox Hill Road. "We've been aware of the violence," he said. "We've seen shootings on various streets around our church. We really feel like we've been surrounded by acts of violence."

Following Saturday's shooting, members of the church came to the beach to pray with people on Sunday. "They went and said, 'We're going to set up some signs and help people through this by prayer,'" Smith said.

Smith believes an honest discussion on issues like employment, aid to the needy, and homelessness needs to happen to help stop violence. Each month he and other local pastors meet to pray for the community. "We have to respond to that violence with love, peace, and hope."

The Hampton Police Department confirmed Tuesday that Buckroe Beach is a "safe place" and that the department will be adding security personnel and features to the beach.

The City of Hampton's Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma (R.E.S.E.T.) Team will be deployed at the beach on Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. Volunteers will be wearing safety vests that clearly identify them as R.E.S.E.T. Team members.

While going door to door, team members will offer residents packets that will include information that can help them and their neighbors in the recovery process as well as offer prevention and intervention services that can improve their quality of life.

If you or someone you know need services or information to assist in the recovery process in relation to this incident and you do not live in the Buckroe area, you can call the Hampton Victim Services Unit at (757) 726-6978.

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