NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The bar manager at the Legacy Lounge, Charita Parker, was at work early Friday morning and said around 1 a.m. she saw people leaving the club.
Parker said that was completely normal and people were still inside enjoying their drinks.
She told 10 On Your Side she then noticed people running back inside. She heard them say there were gunshots. Her security team quickly guarded the front and back doors.
Police said a fight broke out inside the club and while people were exiting, a man opened fire. Law enforcement responded to a disturbance call.
Parker said she didn’t see any fight while she was working inside the club.
“There was a person that was standing outside of the club that was a little rowdy. The police was actually handling this situation. Other than that, there was no fight inside the club. There was no incident that could have provoked that person that did that to do what he did,” she said.
Norfolk Interim Police Chief Michael Goldsmith said a Norfolk Sheriff’s deputy was among four injured. Police arrested 25-year-old Tyshawn Gray on the scene. He faces a list of charges.
Now, Parker said the Legacy Lounge name is being tarnished.
“Not even on our property decided to do whatever he did that night,” she said. “It’s giving our lounge a bad name already. It wasn’t that involved with our club.”
The club was only opened three weeks. Parker said it is a Black and veteran-owned business.
“We are new. We just got here. We are fresh and it is just unfortunate that it happened with us not being here for a long time,” Parker said.
Following this quadruple shooting on Plume Street, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer put out a serious message to Downtown Norfolk.
He said businesses should prepare to come to the council and explain why their business deserves to operate.
“That explanation should include very clearly what benefits you provide to the overall health, culture and entertainment of our citizens by way of your establishment operating in the downtown district,” Filer said.
Parker doesn’t quite agree with Filer’s comments.
“I think that it is crazy. At the end of the day, you cannot control anything that doesn’t happen on your property. It can be anywhere. It could be in front of the Marriot or in front of the Sheraton. If something like that happened in front of the Sheraton, are you going to reevaluate every hotel down here to see if they should be in the area? So, I think they need to take into consideration what our business is about.” she said.
She encourages Filer to visit the new club.
“With him saying that he should really take the time to come visit of these places and actually get to know the people who own the businesses and the people who actually come here,” Parker said.
She said there are people inside the club from open to close.
Parker said the lounge also had let go of their security staff that worked that night. She said they let them go even though they did the right thing Friday morning. She said they hired a whole new team to replace the old crew.
“We definitely want to make sure we protect everybody that comes in and out of our facility,” she said. “We are also implementing other things to protect everybody.”
Parker said they are working on permanent parking close to the club as well. She said the staff is looking forward to moving on from the shooting.
Her staff is prepared to continue serving delicious food and drinks. Parker said you might even catch her cooking the food herself.
Legacy Lounge is also doing a school drive this month to collect donations and supplies for Norfolk Public Schools. She wants to do something like this every month to give back.