NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — One person is dead and another person is in custody following a shooting inside a vehicle and a crash Monday afternoon in the area of Warwick and J. Clyde Morris boulevards in Newport News, Police Chief Steve Drew confirmed in a press conference.
Drew said police are working to extract the person who has died from the vehicle, who he said was inside the floorboard. He said the person appeared to be an African-American male — “that’s what it appears to be from limited access,” Drew said.
“We believe shots were fired,” Drew said. “We know some shots were fired, the vehicle goes over the median. … You can see the trajectory of where the cones are as (the vehicle) travels across the median, strikes the curb and flips, turns around and flips, and it’s on its side, it’s on the driver’s side with the hood of the vehicle pointed northbound.”
There was also a firearm that was still in the vehicle in plain view, Drew said.
The second person inside the car was outside the vehicle and walking away from the scene when police arrived, but when confronted by police, “immediately surrendered.” Drew said the person is now at police headquarters.
“We’re in the process of interviewing him to determine what actually happened inside that vehicle,” Drew said, “and what we do know is that we have – there are shell casings that are being recovered. … For evidence purposes, we are going to do the extraction here as opposed to flipping it and moving some of the things around. We’re going to do the extraction here, processing, and then tow the remains of the vehicle off the lot.”
Drew said the vehicle was heading northbound on Warwick Boulevard when the passenger shot the driver, and then the vehicle went over a median and flipped onto the driver’s side. Police were able to locate the passenger by use of technology and witnesses as he was walking away from the vehicle, seemingly uninjured, Drew said.
“He made some comments, but what that is, we’re going to go down and go through the official interview altogether to see exactly what transpired inside the vehicle,” Drew said.
Neither person has been identified at this time.
Drew said the Newport News Police Department, along with its crash and homicide teams are there, and he has spoken to the city’s mayor and city manager, and one of the city’s assistant city managers is at the scene.
Drew said the NNPD has a search warrant to process, “and now we’ll be removing that individual, preserving the evidence and see what we have from statements, some statements from downtown.”
He said NNPD was on the scene taking photographs, making diagrams and collecting evidence, and he said technology “will digitally remaster everything that we have here and set up dimensions for us, which makes it much more exact.”
“We have the individuals — one of the individuals is deceased, and the other individual was in that car. I just don’t know what happened in that vehicle that led to that,” Drew said. “So the individual downtown is being interviewed. Hopefully, he’ll be able to clear some of those things up, and we’ll match up the forensics evidence that we have. I need to do a thorough process of the scene here, remove the evidence and then line that up with the statements we have downtown, what we did catch on camera with the technology we have here and then a couple of witnesses.”
He noted the witnesses saw “a portion of what happened here,” and said he was thankful for the community’s understanding in having to stop and reroute traffic.
In a statement posted to social media, Christopher Newport University said “we are grateful for the quick response of CNUPD, NNPD (Newport News Police Department) and other first responders to an incident in the vicinity of campus. No one connected to CNU was injured and there is no threat to the safety of anyone on campus.”
CNU said all activities would continue without interruption, though it asked people to avoid the area near J. Clyde Morris and Warwick boulevards to allow for police, fire and rescue personnel to respond.