Virginia reporter among 2 killed in shooting

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Virginia newspaper reporter was one of two people killed in a shooting early Saturday outside a restaurant and bar, authorities said.

Sierra Jenkins, 25, who covered education for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, died at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital after the shooting outside Chicho’s Pizza Backstage, officials say.

Norfolk Police detectives were investigating the shooting, which also left three people injured. Jenkins was caught in the crossfire as she left the bar, restaurant manager Rory Schindel told the newspaper. No arrests had been announced Saturday afternoon.

Jenkins grew up in Norfolk and graduated from Georgia State University. She worked as an intern at Atlanta Magazine and CNN before joining The Pilot in December 2020.

“Sierra was a bright and talented woman with so many assets going her way. Her passion for journalism was undeniable and our community is better off because of her reporting,” said Kris Worrell, editor of Virginia Media, which operates The Virginian -Pilot and several other newspapers. “Sierra was funny, energetic and full of enthusiasm. We are absolutely sorry.

Schindel said the bartenders announced the last call for drinks and turned on the lights around 1:30 a.m. An argument began outside as people started to leave, and shots rang out soon after, the newspaper reported.

Norfolk Police have identified the other person killed as Devon M. Harris, 25, of Portsmouth. Another woman was shot and injured, putting her life in danger, while two other men received gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, police said in a news release.

Jenkins’ father, Maurice Jenkins of Virginia Beach, told the newspaper that his daughter “wasn’t one to go out at all,” but had a friend visiting the area who wanted to go out. Chicho’s Pizza Backstage was next to the downtown Norfolk campus of Tidewater Community College.

Sierra Jenkins’ birthday was last weekend. She got her first apartment in Virginia Beach a month ago after living with her family, the newspaper reported.

Some top state leaders mourned the deaths on Saturday.

“Our hearts break for the lives lost in Norfolk, including Sierra Jenkins,” Governor Glenn Youngkin tweeted. “The First Lady and I pray for their families, friends and the Virginian-Pilot community.”

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