A Virginian-Pilot reporter was one of two people killed in a shooting outside a Virginia bar early Saturday morning.
Journalist Sierra Jenkins, 25, was killed just when she was caught in the crossfire outside of an eatery and bar on downtown Norfolk’s Granby Street, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
According to the Pilot, Saturday would have been Jenkins’ shift to cover breaking news for the newspaper. When her editor called her to ask her to cover the shooting, she couldn’t be reached.
Jenkins had been at Chicho’s Pizza Backstage with her friend as the restaurant was closing when an argument began outside, leading to the shooting, her family told the Pilot.
She was struck in the gunfight and later pronounced dead at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, according to the paper.
A total of five people were shot, including 25-year-old Devon M. Harris of Portsmouth, who also died from his wounds, according to the Norfolk Police Department. Three others were hospitalized, with one having life-threatening injuries, cops said.
No arrests have been made in the shooting as of early Sunday morning.
The oldest of three siblings, Jenkins had just celebrated her 25th birthday less than a week ago, on March 13. She had just moved into her first apartment in Virginia Beach about a month ago, reports said.
Jenkins’ father, Maurice Jenkins of Virginia Beach, told the Pilot that his daughter was a caring, hardworking woman who loved working as a journalist.
“Everyone loved her,” Maurice Jenkins said. “She was such an energetic, caring and giving person. A real go-getter. She’d do anything for anyone.”
Jenkins said his daughter was not much of the “going-out kind,” but decided to go out Friday night because a longtime friend from middle school was in town.
Restaurant manager Rory Schindel told the paper that around 180 people were in the bar when bartenders announced last call and turned on the lights around 1:30 am as patrons began leaving.
Schindel said he remembered seeing Jenkins and her friends before the shooting.
“They were a nice group,” he said. “They took good care of our bartenders and our bartenders took good care of them.”
The manager said he doesn’t believe the shooter ever brought the gun inside the restaurant, as security requires all customers to be patted down before entering.
Kris Worrell, editor-in-chief of Virginia Media, called Jenkins a passionate journalist and “a bright and talented woman with so much going for her.”
“Sierra was funny and energetic and full of enthusiasm. We are absolutely heartbroken,” Worrell said.
Jenkins, a Norfolk native, graduated from Granby High School before she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Georgia State in 2019, the Pilot reported. She had previously worked as an intern at Atlanta Magazine and CNN before joining The Pilot in December 2020, where she covered education.