May 19, 2022
Editor calls reporter to cover shooting before realizing she had been killed in the crossfire
A reporter for The Virginian-Pilot newspaper was killed in a shooting that her editor was attempting to assign her to cover before he realized she was dead. The Virginian-Pilot reported that Sierra Jenkins was assigned to cover breaking news Saturday. So when there was a shooting in downtown Norfolk just before 2 a.m., an editor…

A reporter for The Virginian-Pilot newspaper was killed in a shooting that her editor was attempting to assign her to cover before he realized she was dead.

The Virginian-Pilot reported that Sierra Jenkins was assigned to cover breaking news Saturday. So when there was a shooting in downtown Norfolk just before 2 a.m., an editor repeatedly called her to ask her to report on it.

But Jenkins, 25, was one of the two people killed in the shooting outside Chicho’s Pizza Backstage, a restaurant and bar, according to Norfolk Police. The other person killed was Devon M. Harris, also 25.

Two other men and a woman were shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Jenkins’ father, Maurice, told The Virginian-Pilot she “wasn’t much of a going-out kind of person at all.” But, he said, her best friend was in town, so they had decided to go out.

A statement from the newspaper said Jenkins covered education for the Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press.

“For two years, she’s covered the stories of Hampton Roads with compassion and care,” the statement said. She had previously worked at Atlanta Magazine and CNN.

“Sierra was funny, energetic and full of enthusiasm. We are absolutely heartbroken,” the statement said. “Our community is better because of her reporting.”

Police have not announced any arrests in the shooting.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi urged anyone with cellphone video, surveillance footage or any other information to contact Norfolk Police.

“On a personal level, please do not mix guns and alcohol. Leave the guns at home,” Fatehi said in a statement.

Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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