Virginia reporter discovered dead in shooting when paper tries to assign her the story

No arrests had been announced as of Saturday afternoon

A Virginia newspaper reporter was one of two people killed during a shooting early Saturday outside a restaurant and bar, authorities said.

"Saturday would have been Sierra Jenkins’ turn to cover the breaking news shift for The Virginian-Pilot," the newspaper reported. "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."

Jenkins, 25, who covered education for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, died at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital after the shooting outside Chicho’s Pizza Backstage, according to officials.

A person walks by Chicho’s Pizza Backstage, in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, March 19, 2022, where a fatal shooting took place outside the restaurant and bar earlier in the day. Newspaper reporter Sierra Jenkins was one of the people killed during the shooting after getting caught in the crossfire. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

A person walks by Chicho’s Pizza Backstage, in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, March 19, 2022, where a fatal shooting took place outside the restaurant and bar earlier in the day. Newspaper reporter Sierra Jenkins was one of the people killed during the shooting after getting caught in the crossfire. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

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Norfolk police detectives were investigating the shooting, which also resulted in injuries to three others. Jenkins was caught in the crossfire as she was leaving the bar, restaurant manager Rory Schindel told the newspaper. No arrests had been announced as of Saturday afternoon.

Jenkins grew up in Norfolk and graduated from Georgia State University. She worked as an intern at Atlanta Magazine and CNN before joining The Pilot in December 2020.

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"Sierra was a bright and talented woman with so much going for her. Her passion for journalism was undeniable and our community is better because of her reporting," said Kris Worrell, editor-in-chief of Virginia Media, which operates The Virginian-Pilot and several other newspapers. "Sierra was funny and energetic and full of enthusiasm. We are absolutely heartbroken."

Schindel said bartenders had announced last call for drinks and turned up the lights at about 1:30 a.m. An argument began outside as people started to leave, and shots rang out soon afterward, the newspaper reported.

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The other deceased victim has been identified as 25-year-old Devon M. Harris of Portsmouth. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.