NORFOLK, Va. - A restaurant in MacArthur Center has decided to close its doors after recent shootings in the area.
Texas De Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse located on the first floor of the mall, has closed.
In a statement from the steakhouse, they state the reason for its closure is due to safety concerns after several shootings in the area. In the last two months, four people have died in senseless shootings downtown. This comes at a time when the Norfolk Police Department is short staffed, looking to fill 227 officer vacancies.
“We have evaluated our options as a result of the recent tragic events that occurred at MacArthur Center. As the public is aware, the news has continued to report about the string of escalating violence in the mall and surrounding areas – but this time with multiple shootings and a fatality at our doorstep.
Based on our evaluation of the circumstances, we have determined that the mall has become unsafe to the extent that we can no longer operate safely there. We cannot jeopardize the safety of our staff and guests; both of which are our primary concern. We must look for a new and safe location to operate. Once we have a tentative opening date, we will announce on our social channels, in an email to our eclub members and will post on our website.”
The director of operations for Texas De Brazil says the choice to leave MacArthur was needed to look out for their employees' and guests' safety.
"Every month, it gets worse and worse. With the latest unfortunate incident and a fatality at our front door, our staff no longer felt safe coming to work. Our guests were very traumatized. At the end of the day, we have a business to run. Without having staff that want to come into work and that don’t feel safe and business declining because violence keeps on continuing, that was our primary decision," Anil Sekhri, the director of operations for Texas De Brazil, tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.
Texas De Brazil says due to the recent events, they "have determined that the mall has become unsafe to the extent that we can no longer operate safely there." They say they are searching for a new location and will update guests via social media on an opening date.
Norfolk Police are currently searching for the man wanted in connection to the April 2 MacArthur Center shooting that left one man dead and two others injured. 39-year-old Gary L. Moore, of Virginia Beach, has been charged with second degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and three counts of use of a firearm.
A mass shooting also took place on Granby Street that killed three people and injured two others. It happened in March in front of Chicho's Pizza.
The city has said that they are taking aim at crime in Downtown Norfolk, starting with installing surveillance cameras.