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'I don't want it to continue' | Downtown Norfolk business owner wants more security after 5 people shot

A shooting left two people dead and three people hurt early Saturday morning. The victims are 25-year-olds Sierra Jenkins and Devon Malike Harris.

NORFOLK, Va. — A memorial continues to grow in front of Chicho's along Granby Street in Downtown Norfolk. 

The flowers and the photo of Sierra Jenkins next to Devon Harris' name written in chalk sit as a reminder of what happened over the weekend.

RELATED: Virginian-Pilot reporter among two killed in shooting on Granby Street that hurt three others: 'There’s no bigger shock than that'

For the owner of Gershwin's restaurant right next to Chicho's, Claude Barnett, it's a reminder of the growing violence in Downtown Norfolk.

"We made a decision coming out of the pandemic in Fall of 2020 to not stay open past midnight anymore," said Barnett. "We just made that decision because the few dollars we make after midnight. It's not just worth the safety of my employees."

Barnett said he woke up to several texts about the shooting Saturday morning. He said he monitored the sidewalk outside of his restaurant all evening long on Saturday to keep an eye on his surroundings.

"I think I saw two patrol cars all night. Where are the police? They used to patrol on foot down here. You don't see them around anymore. Why not?" asked Barnett. "This is a vibrant downtown community. Lots of business, lots of people."

Barnett said he addressed these types of problems in the past with leaders of Downtown Norfolk Council. Now, the Downtown Norfolk Civic League is addressing the problem.

"Downtown Norfolk is a great place to be," said Downtown Norfolk Civic League President, Lelia Vann. "I mean, I just want people to feel safe here and have fun."

Vann said in the past couple of years, public safety has become her team's top priority, saying, "Our priority downtown was getting a grocery store, okay? A grocery store. Now, it's safety."

With the shooting outside of Chicho's, Vann said the downtown area could use a boost in police patrols. She said it's time city leaders look into where the crime is happening and deal with it head-on. 

"I know the force is down, but still we need to step up police presence," said Vann. "And try to understand more where these activities are happening and can we do something about them."

13News Now reached out to the Norfolk Police Department several times over the weekend and Monday to learn more about what happened, but we have yet to get an official update on the case.

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