One year later | A look at law enforcement, business changes following deadly Norfolk city center shooting

NORFOLK, Va. – A year after a fatal triple shooting outside Chicho’s Pizza Backstage in downtown Norfolk, the word ‘change’ is more than just a word written above the memorial marking where it happened. product. It’s a feeling that is now felt throughout the neighborhood.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence, I’ve seen changes,” said Brian Coon, downtown general manager of Benny Domato’s. “I work here every weekend, every Friday and Saturday, people go out, come to the bars. . And we have [customers] been stable, so it’s not like people aren’t going out on the weekends.”

A year after the shooting that killed Devon Malik Harris, Marquel Andrews and Virginian-Pilot reporter Sierra Jenkins – along with two others injured – changes are still visible both in law enforcement and in how businesses drive through the city.

Chicho’s shooting was the first of several acts of violence in the area over a period of months, including a shooting inside the MacArthur Center Mall weeks later and a quadruple shooting outside the Legacy Restaurant and Lounge in the summer of 2022.

Prosecutors would eventually drop the charges against alleged shooter Antoine Legrande due to problems getting witnesses to cooperate with the case, but his charges could be reinstated later.

But the weeks following the Chicho shooting saw a concerted effort by city leaders to clean up downtown.

Norfolk Police Department officers have expanded their patrols to the area on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The expanded patrols are still in place, according to an NDP spokesperson.

“There’s been a lot more police presence since the shooting,” Coon said. “In our corridor on Granby Street, I didn’t really see any violence.”

The city still rents mobile cameras placed along the Granby Street corridor.

Members of the Downtown Norfolk Civic League told 13News Now it seems the general perception in downtown businesses is that safety has improved since then.

While calls for potential curfews never materialized, city staff overhauled the conditional use release (CUP) process in the city, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer, finally citing downtown businesses that should prove why they “deserved” to stay downtown.

Restaurants serving alcohol, not just late-night bars, must now go through the CUP process. Several establishments, including California Burrito, Scotty Quixx and Legacy Restaurant and Lounge, have had their operating licenses revoked by the city council for various reasons related to alleged violations, and have fought in court to reopen.

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