Sierra Jenkins, a 25-year-old reporter who wrote for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and had previously worked for CNN, was one of two people killed in a mass shooting outside a restaurant over the weekend in Norfolk, Va.
Jenkins was among five people in total who were shot when gunfire rang out following an argument at Chicho’s Pizza Backstage, according to the newspaper. She had just recently celebrated her birthday and had been out eating with a friend when the shooting began, according to the paper’s reporting on the incident.
Tragically, Jenkins’ editor heard about the shooting over the Virginian Pilot’s newsroom police scanner and attempted to call her to cover the shooting, unaware that Jenkins was one of the victims.
From the Virginian-Pilot
Saturday would have been Sierra Jenkins’ turn to cover the breaking news shift for The Virginian-Pilot.
When an editor learned early Saturday that several people had been shot in downtown Norfolk, he called Jenkins repeatedly to ask her to cover it. But she couldn’t be reached.
Norfolk police haven’t named any suspects.
The National Association of Black Journalists, which represents more than 3,000 working journalists and of which Jenkins was a member, issued a statement about her passing.
“The NABJ family is wrapping our arms around Sierra’s family, friends and colleagues. This is a tragic loss of a blossoming reporter with a beautiful spirit who had already begun to make her mark in the industry,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “We are saddened that such a horrific act ended her life and career too soon.”
Jenkins was the rare reporter who was actually working in her own hometown. She had previously interned at Atlanta Magazine and worked at CNN, moving back home for a gig covering education at the Virginian-Pilot two years ago.
Memorial services haven’t been announced.