Downtown Blacksburg business owners react to Friday night shooting

Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 7:56 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s no surprise that Friday night’s shooting at the Melody Hookah Lounge was on most residents’ minds in Blacksburg Saturday. But by noon, Main Street was as busy as it normally is. The situation also did not stop business owners from opening their doors.

“Incidents like that are sad and unfortunate. But they’re not the fabric of this town,” said Chad Wymer, who owns RadChad’s Ancient Art Tattoo.

Wymer and the community had a hopeful outlook as they move forward. He wasn’t made aware of Friday night’s shooting until Saturday morning.

“One of my neighbors sent me a message concerned that I might have traffic issues when I came to work.”

Some businesses kept their doors closed Saturday but the majority were open.

One business owner, who declined an on-camera interview, said she was worried when she heard the news, but wasn’t going to let it stop her from opening.

Most business owners agree that situations like this don’t happen in Blacksburg often and know they won’t let it turn into the identity of the town.

“I don’t think that the people that live here represent that kind of dangerous lifestyle or that kind of energy.”

The only visible damage at Melody Hookah Lounge Saturday was a broken window, but many community members stopped to look into the business as they walked by. Later in the afternoon, flowers appeared on the doorstep of the business.

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