Nearby church, friends reeling after fatal shooting on Azalea Garden Drive in Norfolk

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man was killed in a shooting Wednesday night in Norfolk.

Police said the shooting happened around 9 p.m. at 2727 Azalea Garden Road, the address for a restaurant and lounge called the EZ Inn.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was identified on Friday as 41-year-old Jessie L. Taylor, of Norfolk, but police had not identified a suspect or made an arrest.

On Thursday morning, Norfolk police were out speaking with businesses that share the shopping center with EZ Inn. Those shop owners told 10 On Your Side they were looking for possible witnesses and security camera footage.

One owner said the shooting doesn’t surprise him. Others said they were surprised, with one woman saying the Azalea Garden is tight-knit.

Friends spoke to WAVY News about Taylor.

“His big smile will be missed. And his friendliness I think is the biggest thing is ’cause he was always happy and joyful. All kind of guy and so yeah, I’ll miss that,” said friend and Norfolk local Jennifer Bennett.

“I just think that whatever it was for it wasn’t worth it,” said Bennett. “You know, we are a community. We need to just try to keep safe and if somebody’s out there doing something bad … I don’t know what it was about or what happened, but we should all come together and try to keep our neighborhood safe no matter who it was with.”

Just steps away from where the victim was found, Lighthouse Church and Academy hosted services the next day. People inside, like Pastor Melvin Grant, are still processing what happened and praying for those involved.

“We were approached this morning by the detectives coming in and they basically just informed us that an incident had happened,” said Grant. When he later found out it was a deadly shooting, he was saddened.

“We want to raise the flag and say, ‘Hey we are here for you that’s why we here in this neighborhood,'” said Grant. “Those who will walk into this church won’t look like us, won’t add like us, won’t smell like us, but we still have to reach out.”

Grant is hoping churches in the community will come together and help stop the cycle of gun violence, something they’ve been working on doing while watching the shooting rates rise.

“We have to get the path where we started to care about people and love people again and reach out.”

Those with information can submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, downloading the P3 tips app to a mobile device, or visiting www.P3tips.com and submitting a tip.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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