19-Year-Old Suspect Identified in Virginia Shooting That Left Three Women Dead, Two Injured


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A 19-year-old suspect in Wednesday night’s shooting that left three women dead and two injured was arraigned Thursday morning in Norfolk General District Court.

Ziontay Brian Ricardo Palmer was arrested hours after the shooting in the city’s Young Terrace neighborhood. The Virginia Beach resident is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and several firearm charges.

He’s being held without bond in the Norfolk city jail.

Police say Palmer was arrested a short time after the shooting occurred Wednesday evening around 6 p.m. near the 800 block of Whitaker Lane. 

Police were called to the public housing community — located at the corner of Saint Paul’s Boulevard and Brambleton Avenue — at about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

A preliminary investigation indicates the shooting was domestic-related, police said. Court documents show that one of the malicious wounding charges and one firearm charge were filed in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, where criminal cases involving people who are related or in relationships are handled.

Three women were pronounced dead at the scene. Officials identified them as Detra R. Brown, 42, of Suffolk; Nicole Lovewine, 45, of Norfolk; and Sara E. Costine, 44, of Lithonia, Georgia.

A 39-year-old woman and a 19-year-old woman were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with gunshot wounds. Both are expected to recover, police said.

Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said during interviews at the scene Wednesday night that the suspect shot one woman, then shot the others when they went to help her.

Palmer’s preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 11, according to court documents, and a public defender will be assigned to represent him.