NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A nightclub shooting that wounded four people appears to be the last straw for officials in Norfolk.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that city officials say they will ask businesses from nightclubs to coffee shops to explain why they deserve the “privilege” of operating in the city’s entertainment district.
City Manager Chip Filer said conditional use permits for the businesses will be evaluated and the City Council will start asking “hard questions” about whether it wants any businesses staying open until 2 a.m. on Granby Street.
The shooting Friday highlights the struggles the city has had maintaining a safe nightlife environment in recent years. Filer commended the city’s staff and the businesses for correcting issues with overcrowding, long lines spilling into the streets and loitering that were common around the time of a triple homicide in March. He said the challenge now is to address the problems that start inside.
“You are no longer able to claim immunity for things that occur outside your establishment when we can find evidence that creates no doubt that the genesis of the activity occurred in your establishment,” Filer said during a news conference Friday.
Police responded to the Legacy Restaurant and Lounge Friday at about 1:15 a.m., where they found four people with gunshot wounds, including a sheriff’s deputy. The deputy was on duty helping other officers deal with an altercation. Sheriff Joe Baron said they were attempting to move people out of the club when the suspect fired into the crowd. All four shooting victims are expected to recover