PETERSBURG, Va. -- Gunfire erupted not far from a police officer in Petersburg's Walnut Hill neighborhood Sunday evening.
The crime happened just after 6 p.m. when Petersburg police said the first of more than a dozen gunshots rang out from an alley.
A Petersburg police officer was just a block away when gunfire rang out.
"Shots fired, Chuckatuck, he's running, shots fired, shots fired on Chuckatuck."
As the shots were fired, an officer in his police car spotted five people running.
“He sees two other people following them. One had a weapon and was also shooting towards the direction of those first group that ran across,” Lt. Greg Geist with Petersburg police said.
Emergency communications captured the chaos.
"I'm 10-4, subjects are running, shooting at each other,” the officer can be heard saying. “I got one gun."
One man who lives nearby spoke with WTVR CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil on the condition of anonymity.
"Every bit of 13 to 14 shots,” he said. “I know and it was near the convenience store."
In the aftermath, Geist said officers picked up anywhere from 15 to 20 shell casings fired from two different guns.
One woman, who also spoke to Covil on the condition of anonymity, arrived home to find a sea of police cars.
“It was too many to count,” she said. “It was many."
She said coming home to blue lights was unsettling.
“Scary, very scary, because I know there's a lot of crime going on in this neighborhood right night," she said.
Police canvassed the area searching for the suspects. They recovered one gun.
"I only got one gun, he dropped the gun and ran when he saw me pulling my gun," the officer can be heard saying via emergency communications.
People who live in the area said that hearing gunshots has become commonplace.
"Often, at least twice a week," one neighbor said.
The violence has many longtime homeowners scared.
"It's a scary place,” one woman said. “This use to be a wonderful place to live, [but] not so today."
If you have any information that could help detectives, call Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.