Park Place community reacts to valet driver shooting

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk police increased patrols in Park Place after a valet driver was shot outside a restaurant Saturday night.

The victim, a man in his early 20s, is still in the hospital recovering. The owner of Norfolk Chop House said his valet driver was shot in the back while running away from the suspect, but is expected to survive.

Police released surveillance photos of the suspect Monday. The restaurant owner said the suspect checked to see if other vehicles were locked before approaching the one where he had a confrontation with the valet.Norfolk Chop House

“This could happen anywhere,” said Chris Fellini, who works at Norfolk Chop House. “Shootings happen in Virginia Beach all the time. This was just unlucky. There’s not a lot of crime here. Only thing you see is crimes of opportunity.”

Local businessman Kevin O’Connor agrees the shooting is not indicative of the neighborhood as a whole. O’Connor moved his brewery into the transitional area four years ago, hoping to help make positive change.

“It’s disheartening that it happened so close to where we do business,” O’Connor said. “Norfolk Chophouse put a lot of time, money and effort into opening a very nice restaurant on this side of the tracks, and it really started paving the way for growth over here.”

O’Connor said one shooting will not stop the progress or make him question his safety. But he feels for employees of Norfolk Chop House who survived a scare Saturday night.

“We kind of look out for each other, but at the same time we never really felt that we had to look out for each other,” O’Connor said.

Norfolk police denied’s request for the a copy of the 911 calls made in relation to the shooting Saturday night, citing an active investigation.

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