Newlyweds from Union County shot trying to buy cellphone

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Newlyweds from Union County, and their unborn baby, survived after being shot in a senseless crime.

Fred and Emily Marsian had just moved from Union County to Virginia for Fred's career in the Navy.

In a video call from a Virginia hospital, Fred's sister and father told Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster the couple went to meet a woman they had communicated with through the app OfferUp to buy a cellphone Saturday night in Portsmouth.

Fred's sister Cate said the couple told her they stayed in their car. The woman did not come outside, but several men did. The men reportedly asked Fred if they were there to buy the phone.

"That's when one of the gentlemen from the driver’s side window put a gun through the crack in the window and my brother went to go turn the key and leave and they just started firing shots,” Cate told Channel 9. “They never asked for money, nothing. They just started firing.”

Cate said Fred was able to drive down the street before his wife jumped into the driver’s seat and got to a nearby gas station. Some believe the motive may have been a gang initiation or a robbery gone bad, but the couple hadn't even handed over money.

"It was pretty scary. It was tough. It has been tough for everybody," Fred’s father, Randy, told Channel 9.

Fred and Emily were childhood sweethearts who got married in May.

"They just found out four months ago, they're going to have a baby and it's just… everything within seconds coming to a halt,” Randy said. “I mean, it's just senseless. It's sad. It really is."

Fred, who was in the driver’s seat was shot in the eye and chest. Emily, in the passenger seat, was shot in the chest.  "(The bullet) barely missed her heart by centimeters, missed the baby," Randy said.

Miraculously, the baby survived too.

Fred and Emily have a long road to recovery. Both are able to speak and their family members said they remember everything.

Emily is recovering well. Fred underwent a long surgery Sunday night. His father told Channel 9 he still has his left eye, but he will never see out of it again. It is uncertain whether he will be able to see, long-term, out of his right eye.

"They both fought to live. It was not their time," Cate said.

With the couple's family from Union County by their side in Virginia, the local community has set up a GoFundMe page to help. As of Monday night, it had raised nearly $6,000 of its $20,000 goal in one day.

Portsmouth police confirmed some information about the shooting to Channel 9 but would not say if anyone has been arrested or if investigators have a suspect.

Less than two and a half hours after the shooting, the Portsmouth Police Department warned on Facebook about a string of people being robbed while meeting to buy items they saw online. The post does not mention the shooting.

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