Two people were killed and five others were injured by gunfire after a fight broke out at a party in Norfolk, Virginia, police said Sunday.
When police responded to a house near Old Dominion University around midnight, they found four women and three men with gunshot wounds, authorities said.
“The preliminary investigation reveals that there had been a party at that location that had been advertised on social media,” said Michael Goldsmith, the city's interim police chief, at a news conference. “Apparently a fight broke out at the party, and once the fight started then somebody pulled out a gun and started shooting.”
Zabre Miller, 25, and Angela McKnight, 19, later died at a hospital, police said.
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“We are continuing the investigation in this,” Goldsmith said at the news conference with Mayor Kenneth Alexander, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer and Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron. "There were multiple firearms involved to include a pistol and a long gun.”
Several Norfolk State University students were victims of the shooting at an off-campus location, the university said on its Facebook page.
“Initial indications are that our students were innocent bystanders of a shooting at an evening house party,” the university wrote in the post.
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Local authorities are working with federal officials in the investigation, Goldsmith said.
“We are rushing the casings and any ballistics evidence that we have to our federal partners using the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, and the ATF has promised us that they’re going to rush these through so that we can make any possible connections using that evidence," Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith emphasized that the shooting was not random.
“This is not randomly picked," he said. “These are, and this is what is frustrating about these things right now, people get into a disagreement, they pull out a gun, and then they shoot each other, and in the process of doing that they shoot innocent people who end up dying.”