Police cars swarmed a West Main Street parking lot Saturday night, after 7:44 p.m., the approximate time that a person was shot in the street’s 800 block, according to a UVa Police public alert.
“There were about eight to ten police cars,” said a nearby merchant, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The 800 block includes the Flats and the Standard, a pair of retail-fronted student-oriented apartment buildings and abuts the Westhaven public housing complex and the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.
As of press time Sunday evening, Charlottesville Police had made no public mention of the shooting, and the CPD public information officer said via text that he had been given no information on the incident.
While the Charlottesville Police have declined to cite any trends or connections in gun violence, Albemarle County Police held a press conference Thursday to inform the public that the violent crime in the county is “directly connected” to gang activity.
This appears to have been a violent autumn. From September to November, six people have been killed locally by guns, including the November 13 mass shooting that claimed the lives of three University of Virginia student-athletes. In that same period, the number directly injured from gun violence is 12, with half of them juveniles. An additional person was injured by a car while fleeing gunfire, according to Albemarle Police.
One reason this autumn may seem particularly violent is that last year, as measured by homicides, was comparatively peaceful.
A recent review of FBI data by the Daily Progress shows that the last two years were outliers, one high and one low. The year 2020 was the deadly outlier with 12 reported homicides in the combined terrain while 2021 was the peaceful outlier, with no homicides tallied in either municipality.
The FBI homicide data showed that since 2011, the average is four homicides annually across the combined jurisdictions of Charlottesville and Albemarle.