Virginia Beach Police are investigating multiple different incidents "concurrently," including an officer-involved shooting

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Virginia Beach shooting on 3/26/21 leaves 2 dead, and 8 hurt.
Credit: WAVY TV 10/YouTube

Two people were killed and eight injured following what police described as "a very chaotic night" in Virginia Beach on Friday. 

At 11:22 p.m. local time, officers patrolling the oceanfront area heard multiple gunshots and later discovered several gunshot wound victims on the scene. Eight victims were transported to local hospitals with injuries ranging from serious to life-threatening, police said in a press release.

A police officer was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries after being hit by a car. 

While authorities were investigating the shooting, the suspected shooter, an adult male, was "confronted by a uniform Virginia Beach police officer" and was fatally shot by the officer, Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate told reporters at a press briefing, according to The Washington Post

"This is an active investigation, which is being conducted by the Virginia Beach Police Departments Detective Bureau as well as the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney and the Virginia Beach Police Department's Office of Internal Affairs," the press release said of the officer-involved shooting. "As standard procedure, the officer involved will be placed on administrative assignment pending the outcome of the investigation." 

The second fatality was an adult woman who died from a gunshot wound at a separate crime scene. Authorities later identified her as 29-year-old Deshayla E. Harris of Norfolk.

"What you can see is we have a very chaotic incident, a very chaotic night in the beach," Neudigate said. "Many different crime scenes."

Police said the incidents are being investigated "concurrently," and there are several suspects in custody, though no additional information has been made available. 

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The Virginia Beach shootings come after two other mass shootings this month, one in Atlanta with eight fatalities and another in Boulder, Colorado with 10. 

Though the rate of mass shootings slowed slightly amid the COVID-19 pandemic — there was a mass shooting every 73 days in 2020, compared with one every 36 days in 2019, according to a recent Post report — Americans still died at record rates due to gun violence over the last year. 

Data from the Gun Violence Archive shows that gun violence killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2020, which is more than any other year in at least 20 years. 

"There are many communities across this country that are dealing with ever-present gun violence that is just part of their daily experience," Mark Barden, a co-founder of the gun violence prevention group Sandy Hook Promise, told the outlet. "It doesn't get the support, the spotlight, the national attention. People don't understand that it's continuous and it's on the rise."