NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Friday night, things were quiet along Granby Street in Norfolk. The atmosphere felt very different after the killing of Norfolk Police Officer Victor Decker.
"It's very somber," said Bill Rice from 219 American Bistro. "It's on everybody's mind. Everybody says something about it."
You could see the feelings of sadness on every corner. It was written in chalk and in marker, and you couldn't help, but think about Norfolk Police Officer Victor Decker.
"He always made us feel safe," said Kevin Griffin. "He made everybody feel safe, because you always knew he was there."
Decker patrolled Downtown Norfolk. Tuesday, the officer was shot and killed in Virginia Beach. He was off duty at the time.
"Officer Decker has just been a huge positive presence Downtown," Rice added.
The businesses he spent his career protecting are now lining up to give back. The first of what is sure to be several fundraisers will happen Monday inside 219 American Bistro.
"All of our employees at all five of our stores all feel the same way," Rice said. "They want to know what they can do to help."
"It feels unreal," Griffin added. "When I got the news [of] what happened, it was just unreal. I couldn't believe that was him."
That's a reality many on Granby were dealing with.
"Almost the cold goes along with the actual atmosphere tonight," Griffin said. "It's not a warm feeling at all."
Things definitely feel different now and said that feeling won't change anytime soon.
"Downtown will feel the absence of Officer Decker," Rice added. "He left such an impression on everybody. I think his memory will last for a long, long time."
The fundraiser at 219 American Bistro is happening with support from the Downtown Norfolk Civic League. It will be held Monday, November 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Lunch) and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Dinner).
The restaurant will donate 25% of its gross sales to Officer Decker's family. The restaurant owners, Dr. Sture Sigfred and Ron Zoby said they will also personally match whatever money is raised and donate it to the Decker family.
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