NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Chicho’s Pizza Backstage has responded on social media days after the quintuple shooting in downtown Norfolk that left two people dead.
“We are devastated that the lives of Sierra Jenkins and Devon M. Harris were taken and individuals were injured due to senseless acts of violence,” the business said in a Facebook post. “Our hearts go out to their families and everyone impacted.”
Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said on Monday that the argument that led to the shooting in the 300 block of Granby Street near Chicho’s and Tidewater Community College started inside Chicho’s over a spilled drink.
Jenkins, a reporter at the Virginian-Pilot, and Harris, who recently played semi-pro football for the Virginia Beach Rhinos, were innocent bystanders.
Police had still not made an arrest and had not identified suspects, at least publicly, as of Tuesday morning.
In response to the shooting, Boone said there will be increased police presence on Granby Street beginning Thursday, and he plans to ask City Council if they would approve of the use of surveillance cameras and drones at special events.
City Council members are also making proposals in an effort to curb the violence.
Councilmember Courtney Doyle said she plans to introduce several of her proposals Tuesday at City Council’s work session. These include a review of all downtown bar and restaurant conditional use permits (CUP), putting a hold on issuing new CUPs downtown and requiring all businesses to close at midnight.
“I just feel we need to take downtown back,” Doyle said.
Chicho’s in its statement said it’s “looking into hiring local law enforcement to help monitor the crowds on the sidewalks.”
“As a local-owned business in the Hampton Roads, ensuring our community’s safety is top priority for our employees, customers, and community.”
All the businesses 10 On Your Side visited on Granby Street Tuesday agreed it is the city’s responsibility to add additional police officers before businesses pay for their own security.
Down at Granby Street Pizza, it was business as usual, but it is different.
Gregory Freda says Monday night was quiet.
“It was quiet. Was it quiet due to the result of the other night? It could have been. I will tell you last night was really, really quiet,” Freda said.
Down at The CBD Shoppe, Drew Bazemore always takes the weekend night shifts fearing the worst,
“I always close 4-9 on Saturdays. I always close because I know the loiterers come in, and I know people who solicit come in… Lots of people then come in during those hours,” he said.
For now, Freda does not support any curfew or getting more security, but he does think police need to increase their presence on Granby Street.
“We are not going to have a security guard out front, but I think Granby Street definitely needs to accept the magnitude of what happened, and take a proactive stance on the things we can do,” he said.
CJ Upton just opened a high-end restaurant, PRIME 255, on Granby.
“I do not support a curfew. I do support more of a police presence downtown. I wish we could have more patrols on foot, especially going into the late-night hours,” Upton said.
Freda thinks increasing police presence can’t hurt.
“If more law enforcement can come to Granby Street, especially at the late hours … that would be great… They used to do it by the dozens. They did it because I saw them do it. I fed them late at night sometimes,” he said.
Bazemore added, “I was thinking about extending the hours in the summer, but now I’m going to just keep it at a nine [p.m.] closing because I would hate to think something like that would repeat itself.”
This is a breaking article and will be updated. Look for complete coverage of this story coming up from WAVY’s reporters.