VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The air is warmer, the days are longer, and tourism season is just around the corner.
As Virginia Beach’s tourism industry looks to bounce back from a rough 2020, they don’t want any more tragedies like Friday’s chaos that left multiple wounded and two people dead. One of those people was shot and killed by a police officer.
So far– we know of six people arrested in connection with the shootings. Three are charged in connection with the actual shootings. Three others are charged with selling firearms to convicted felons, according to police. Two appeared in court Wednesday morning and were denied bond.
A seventh man is accused of hitting a police officer with a car.
As those accused in the shootings make their way through court, the people who make their livelihood where the chaos happened want the promises made by police for additional safety to become a reality. Business owners want the resort area’s future addressed.
Their message: Last Friday’s violence will not and should not be tolerated.
On Monday, the hotel association wrote a letter to Mayor Bobby Dyer and City Council. The letter stresses how important safety in the resort area is and offers some suggestions.
The letter was sent ahead of Tuesday’s City Council meeting, in which Police Chief Paul Neudigate gave details about the shootings. He said some of the people involved appear to be affiliated with gangs.
In their opinion, the hotel association believes more public safety personnel are needed at the Oceanfront. They also say the area needs more video cameras. More lighting is on the list, especially on poorly lit side streets. The association would also like to see license plate recognition technology installed.
The hotel association calls their recommendations “sensible ideas” that will help VBPD protect citizens and visitors — visitors tourism officials hope will soon flock to the Oceanfront.
The association adds they’re supportive of any other ideas offered by the police department or city leaders to make sure everyone is safe.
10 On Your Side also caught up with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) during a visit in Hampton Roads Wednesday.
“When news hit about Virginia Beach, I thought about Atlanta and Boulder and I thought about the nation, that we should be tired of being bystanders to gun violence,” he said.