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Shootout unfolds in Petersburg neighborhood, near children playing in yard

Posted at 11:02 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 23:50:56-04

PETERSBURG, Va. – A Petersburg neighborhood is reeling after shots rang out in the middle of the street while children were playing nearby in their front yards.

Witnesses say a gun battle unfolded at the intersection of Ferndale Avenue and Grigg Street when two SUV’s drove up beside each other.

That’s when witnesses say the saw the windows go down and gunfire erupt.

"So many monsters out here, everyone is a suspect to me," said Cynthia Sykes, who says she was inside her Grigg Avenue home Tuesday evening.

Cynthia Sykes

The disgusted grandmother said her grandsons were in the front yard playing.

“This is not the life I want for my grandchildren," said Sykes.

She said she was preparing dinner and getting ready for bible study when she heard multiple gunshots.

Unfortunately, the violence she says is a lifestyle she knows all too well.

“I hear pow, pow like cannons on the regular around here. I just run inside and pray that Jesus puts a fence around us and uses his angels," she said.

Police confirm the shooting battle between people in two different SUV's. One of the SUV’s, a Lincoln Navigator ended up wrecked in a side yard on Church Street, directly across from St. Paul's Baptist church.

The shooting victim suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. His injuries are considered non-life threatening.

Skyes 13-year-old grandson said he saw the gun battle with his own eyes.

“They rolled window down and were shooting each other," said Tahmondra Sykes. "I mean all together there were like 10 shots."

This teenage boy said he's blessed that neither he nor his brothers were hit, considering it felt like the shooting lasted for about 30 seconds.

Crime insider sources said the one shooting victim isn't cooperating with police and it's possible he shot himself in the leg as he was drawing his gun.

Police are still investigating.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Petersburg/Dinwiddie Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.