The Data on Gun Violence and Nightlife in NFK

by | Sep 12, 2022

Researcher Alex Fella contributed the following data analysis. Alex used a dataset of all recorded shootings between 2016 and July of 2022 and a list of nightlife establishments in downtown Norfolk to calculate a spatial correlation.
The data included 944 shootings and excluded suicides. The largest radius used for the spatial correlation was 750 feet, which is roughly two downtown blocks. The dataset on establishments was limited to ABC license holders in the downtown area; however, it did include whether they could be open until 2 am and if they were allowed to have entertainment.
You’ll find three maps below:

Map 1: Shootings Near Downtown Entertainment Venues
292 shootings between 1/1/2021 – 9/12/2022

1)    Shootings within 250 ft: 9 shootings out of 292 = 3%
2)    Shootings within 500 ft: 9 shootings = 3%
3)    Shootings within 750 ft: 14 shootings = 4.7%

Map 2: Shootings Near Downtown Venues with ABC Licenses
292 shootings between 1/1/2021 – 9/12/2022

1)    Shootings within 250 ft: 12 shootings out of 292 = 4%
2)    Shootings within 500 ft: 12 shootings = 4%
3)    Shootings within 750 ft: 14 shooting = 4.7%

Map 3: Shootings Near All Norfolk Nightlife 
944 shootings between 1/1/2016 – 7/25/2022

1)    Shootings within 250 ft: 28 shootings = 3%
2)    Shootings within 500 ft: 42 shootings = 4.4%
3)    Shootings within 750 ft: 51 shootings = 5%

While this work is limited to the available data, the conclusion gathered is that there is little to no spatial correlation between shootings and varying definitions of nightlife establishments. While further data on crime and local establishments would provide a more city-wide picture, we hope that this is a valuable contribution to the ongoing community conversation.
There’s more to come from Alex soon, as he concludes an even deeper look into the data on gun violence with the Urban Renewal Center.

Alex Fella

Alex Fella is a writer and researcher, his work focuses on the built environment and the natural world. He is the Director of Research at the Urban Renewal Center and the founder of CityWork, an organization that empowers nonprofits with research and data mapping. He is a 4th year fellow at the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society & has a master's in Philosophy from Yale University. He enjoys fixing old cars and rooting for the Montreal Canadiens

Paul Stetson Rice

Chelsea, NFK

Paul is the creator of He was born and raised in Norfolk, graduated from Virginia Tech, and narrowly avoided law school. Chat with him about economics, entrepreneurship, hip-hop, and hiking. When he's not working on five different projects, you'll catch him sharing a beer with friends at a local brewery.

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