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One year later | A look at the law enforcement, business changes following the deadly Downtown Norfolk shooting

Prosecutors nolle prossed charges against the suspect allegedly behind the shooting, citing issues with witnesses not cooperating in the case.

NORFOLK, Va. — One year after a deadly triple shooting outside of Chicho's Pizza Backstage in Downtown Norfolk, the word "change" is more than a word written above the memorial marking where it happened. It's a feeling that can now be felt across the district.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence, I have seen changes," said Brian Coon, the general manager for the downtown location of Benny Domato's. " I work here every weekend, every Friday and Saturday people coming out, coming to the bars. And we’ve [customers] been steady, so it’s not like people aren’t going out on the weekends."

One year after the shooting that killed Devon Malik Harris, Marquel Andrews and Virginian-Pilot reporter Sierra Jenkins-- as well as injuring two others-- changes can still be seen in both law enforcement and the way businesses conduct themselves across the city. 

The Chicho's shooting was the first of several violent acts across the area over a several-month span, including a shooting inside MacArthur Center Mall weeks later and a quadruple shooting outside of Legacy Restaurant and Lounge in the summer of 2022. 

Prosecutors would eventually withdraw charges against suspected gunman Antoine Legrande because of issues getting witnesses to cooperate in the case, but his charges can be reinstated at a later time. 

But the weeks that followed the Chicho's shooting saw a concerted effort by city leaders to clean up the downtown area. 

Norfolk Police Department officers expanded their patrols of the area on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The expanded patrols are still in place, according to an NPD spokesperson. 

“There have been a lot more police presence since the shooting happened," Coon said. "In our corridor of Granby Street, I haven’t really seen any violence.”

The city is still renting mobile camera units placed up and down the Granby Street corridor. 

Members of the Downtown Norfolk Civic League told 13News Now it appears the general perception across downtown businesses is that safety has improved since then.

While calls for potential curfews never came to fruition, city staff did overhaul the process for conditional use permitting (CUP) in the city, with Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer eventually citing downtown businesses would need to prove why they "deserved" to stay downtown. 

Restaurants serving alcohol, not just bars that are open late, now need to go through the CUP process. Several establishments including California Burrito, Scotty Quixx and Legacy Restaurant and Lounge have had their operating permits revoked by city council for various reasons related to alleged violations, and have fought through the courts to re-open. 

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