Norfolk mother mass shooting victim killed after coming to help injured daughter


NORFOLK, Virginia – We learn more after three women were killed and two others injured in a mass shooting Wednesday night.

Several people living in the Young Terrace community where the tragic incident occurred told News 3 that the suspect, 19-year-old Ziontay Brian Ricardo Palmer, was in a relationship with the 19-year-old woman who was shot and got hurt. We also learned that she is five months pregnant.

Additionally, neighbors said 45-year-old Nicole Lovewine, who was fatally shot, is the mother of the pregnant teen who was injured.

Neighbors said Palmer and the pregnant teen got out of a car that was being driven together by an unknown person, Palmer from the passenger seat and the teen from the back seat after an argument in the car. Palmer then shot the teen in the shoulder as she got out of the car.

The teenager ran inside, then Lovewine and her partner, 42-year-old Detra Brown, ran to her rescue. Palmer is alleged to have shot them both at close range.

A neighbor, 44-year-old Sara E. Costine, and a 39-year-old woman heard the commotion and ran to help. Palmer shot them both, killing Costine, and leaving the 39-year-old woman injured.

Lovewine, Brown and Costine were killed while the other two victims, a 39-year-old woman and the 19-year-old woman who was with the suspect, were rushed to a local hospital with gunshot wounds and are expected to survive.

According to Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, the teenager is now out of the hospital.

Palmer was arrested in connection with the shootings. The Norfolk Commonwealth Prosecutor said he had been charged with three cases of second degree murder, two cases of malicious injury and five cases of use of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone purposely calls this a mass shooting, says people are too desensitized to violence and are calling for a national spotlight on the incident.

Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority officials announced Thursday that they had gone door to door in the Young Terrace community to offer assistance.

A counselor says the community members didn’t stop coming through the door.

“We got here at 8:00 am and we didn’t stop,” said Benicia Hernandez Gill, a local consultant and owner of Life’s Journey Consulting. “We’ve seen so much pain, so much crying, so much anger, so much anger, children who have seen things they should never see, grown men crying.”

Counseling services are available to residents of Young Terrace, according to the NRHA, and counselors are available this week for walk-in appointments at the Young Terrace Community Center.

“The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is devastated by the deadly shootings in our Young Terrace community on Wednesday night,” the NRHA said in a statement. “We are determined to support all of our residents and families affected by this terrible incident.”

Kimberly Thomas, NRHA’s chief community engagement officer, says these services are necessary for trauma-affected neighborhoods.

“People were out this morning looking for some kind of relief,” she said. “You could look in the eyes and say that there were some very sleepless nights last night.”

Thomas tells News 3 that they work mostly with adults and parents, as the children, many of whom go to PB Young Elementary, which is just blocks from the shooting range, are counseled by Norfolk Public Schools.

“We speak to a lot of parents who tell us how their children are really affected by yesterday’s events,” said Thomas.

Norfolk man and community activist Bilal Muhammad of Stop the Violence says he and other activists are asking for lights on Young Terrace to fight violence in the area.

“We ask you to illuminate the residential complex. This is one of the concerns that will affect our housing development format. How can we address the crime that is happening in this particular community or in other communities like this one? “He said.

He says the forum is expected to take place on Saturday, November 13th, from 2pm to 5pm at the Kroc Center.

Families seeking help with domestic violence can call the VA Family Violence Hotline at 1-800-838-8238.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, here are some resources:

News 3 researched types of domestic violence and you can find it on our research page by clicking here.

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