Virginia Beach mass shooting: two killed among nine people shot during 'chaotic night'

Unconfirmed reports say a dispute among partygoers had escalated into violence

Virginia Beach police work the scene of a shooting the night before on Saturday, March 27, 2021 in Virginia Beach, Va.     A pair of overnight fatal shootings along the beachfront in Virginia Beach wounded several people in a scene described by authorities on Saturday as “very chaotic.”  (AP Photo/John C. Clark)
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Two people are dead and eight wounded after a spate of shootings in Virginia Beach, where large crowds gathered for Spring Break celebrations.

Eight people were shot late on Friday night, Virginia Beach police said. All eight were taken to local hospitals, with conditions ranging from serious to life-threatening.

"Shortly after 11pm, we had an original crime scene where numerous shots were fired and hit approximately eight victims," Virginia police Chief Paul Neudigate told reporters.

"While officers were actively working that crime scene, we had additional shots that were fired in the area of 20th pacific," he said, referring to Pacific Avenue, a popular beachfront area.

"That resulted in an individual being confronted by a uniformed Virginia Beach police officer, resulting in a police intervention shooting. That individual is deceased."

The officer has been placed on administrative leave. He has been with the department for five years and is assigned to its special operations division.

The original shooting and the officer shooting were being investigated concurrently, the release said.

One woman died of a gunshot wound on the scene, the police said, although Mr Neudigate said the death possibly stemmed from an unrelated shooting.

"We also have a second deceased individual, which we don't believe was linked to the original shooting," Mr Neudigate said.

The Police also said one officer suffered minor injuries with Mr Neudigate saying the officer was struck by a vehicle during the investigation, adding “He has been transported to the hospital, I am told with non-life-threatening injuries."

Mr Neudigate briefed reporters following the incidents, saying police officers would be working at the crime scenes throughout the night to determine exactly what happened.

“We have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night,” Mr Neudigate said during the news conference.

No suspect information was immediately available.

Mr Neudigate said several people were in police custody but their possible involvement in the shooting was still under investigation.

Multiple roads were blocked off throughout the night while police worked in the area.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the shootings may have been linked to a dispute between Spring Break revellers, but inquiries are ongoing.