Two Incidents Involving Gunfire Under Investigation:

City Exploring Additional Measures to Address Safety Concerns

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Two separate incidents in which gunfire injured several people are under investigation in Virginia Beach as City leaders explore what additional measures it might take to better manage crowds over these major event weekends.

"From the Chesapeake Bay beaches to Mount Trashmore and from the Oceanfront to Sandbridge, we estimate that more than 100,000 visitors joined with thousands of local residents to enjoy our beaches and other recreational areas over the Fourth of July holiday," said City Manager Dave Hansen. "There is nothing more important to us than making sure people feel safe and these incidents are particularly disturbing because they appear to have been unprovoked."

At about 12:30 this morning (July 5), Virginia Beach Police officers reported hearing gunshots in the 1800 block of Atlantic Ave. Dozens of officers responded within seconds and located six people with gunshot wounds. Officers detained several subjects and a firearm was recovered from one individual who has been charged with brandishing a firearm.  Five victims were transported and one individual drove on their own to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. They have been released. 

With the exception of a married couple, the injured individuals did not know each other and all reported they were just walking with the flow of pedestrian traffic on the West side of Atlantic Avenue when they heard the gunfire and were struck. They were all from out of town as were the individuals Police detained.

While none of the victims reported any problems or disputes during the night that could have led to them becoming a victim, one City camera picked up a possible dispute in the crowd in the 1800 block just before the shooting. "We are investigating the possibility that a separate incident led to reckless random shooting that resulted in injuries to these six people," said Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera.

Around 2:00 a.m on Wednesday, July 4, two people were shot and injured while walking in the 1300 block of Atlantic Ave. The two men were confronted by three other males. One of the three males, later identified as Sherwin Lee Tann, 21, produced a handgun and fired a shot, striking one of the two men. The spent round struck a passerby who was grazed by the round. Officers responded, took Tann, a juvenile with Tann, and another man into custody and recovered two handguns.  Tann was charged with aggravated assault, malicious wounding and various firearm and drug charges.  He is in the Virginia Beach City Jail on no bond.  The juvenile was charged with possession and intent to distribute marijuana. The third man was released. The male victim of the gunshot wound was shot in the leg and taken to a local hospital for treatment. The victim who was grazed by a bullet refused treatment.  The suspects were visiting from North Carolina. The victims were also visiting from out of town.

"Gun violence is a growing problem in America. The fact that we are the safest large city in the country is of little comfort to those who were injured by irresponsible and reckless individuals who apparently have such little regard for the lives of others," said Chief Cervera. "The City takes extra measures, especially on holidays and other large event weekends, to provide a safe and family friendly environment. We always increase staffing for these holiday weekends and will continue to do that. We may consider additional steps to help manage crowds once the festivities are over, like close parking lots sooner to encourage earlier departures for day visitors." Parking lots currently close at 2:30 a.m.

​Police continue to investigate these incidents and are asking anyone with information to contact Virginia Beach Police at (757) 385-4101. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may contact Crime Solvers at 1-888-Lock-U-Up. Individuals can also submit a tip via or by downloading the P3 Tips app available on in Apple iTunes and Google Play Stores.


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