Authorities say gunmen shot dead two people, including a Virginia journalist

Authorities say a Virginia newspaper reporter was killed in a gunfight outside a restaurant and bar.

Norfolk, Va. – A Virginia newspaper reporter was one of two people killed in a gunfight outside a restaurant and bar early Saturday, authorities said.

Sierra Jenkins, 25, who covered education and schools for Norfolk’s Virginian-pilot, died at Centra Norfolk General Hospital after being shot outside Chico’s Pizza backstage, according to officials.

Norfolk police detectives were investigating the shooting, which left three more injured. Restaurant manager Rory Schindel told the newspaper Jenkins was caught in crossfire as he was leaving the bar. No arrests were made until Saturday afternoon.

Jenkins grew up in Norfolk and graduated from Georgia State University. Prior to joining the pilot in December 2020, he worked as an intern at Atlanta Magazine and CNN.

“Sierra was a bright and talented woman who had a lot to offer. Her passion for journalism was undeniable and her reporting made our community better,” said Chris Warrell, editor-in-chief of Virginia Media, which manages Virginia-Pilot and several other newspapers. “Sierra was fun and energetic and full of enthusiasm. We’re absolutely heartbreaking.”

Schindel said bartenders announced the last call for drinks and the lights were turned on around 1:30 a.m. when people began to leave and shots were fired soon, the newspaper reported.

Norfolk police identified the dead man as Devon M. Harris, 25, of Portsmouth. Another woman was shot in the head with a life-threatening gun, while two other men were wounded in what was not a life-threatening shooting, police said in a press release.

Jenkins’ father, Maurice Jenkins of Virginia Beach, told the newspaper that his daughter was “not the kind of person to go out at all” but that a friend of hers had traveled to the area and wanted to go out. Chicho’s Pizza was backstage next to Tidwater Community College’s downtown Norfolk campus.

Last weekend was Sierra Jenkins’ birthday. According to the newspaper, he got his first apartment in Virginia Beach a month ago after living with his family.

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