Walmart in Portsmouth reopens after closing for security concerns
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) — The Walmart on Frederick Blvd. reopened Monday at it’s normal time after closing over the weekend amid security concerns at the store.
No additional security measures have been made since the store’s reopening.
13News Now called the business and asked to speak to the store’s general manager.
The woman who answered the telephone call said: “We have closed our store temporarily. We apologize for any inconvenience. Our first responsibility is always the safety our customers and our associates. We hope to reopen quickly.”
The store on Frederick Blvd. was the site of the shooting death of William Chapman in April of last year.
Former Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin killed Chapman while Rankin was responding to a shoplifting call.
Prosecutors hoped to convict Rankin of murder, but a jury found him guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter last week.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
Members of a small group that planned a sit-in at the store Sunday posted video on Facebook in which Walmart staff members appeared to accommodate the demonstrators, asking them to stay in a specific area of the parking lot.
Members of the group later appeared to try to enter the store. It was at that point that staff members closed the business.
Charles Crowson, Senior Manager Corporate Communications for Walmart reiterated the message that came from the store, providing 13News Now with this statement:
“Given the heightened emotions in the community, we have closed our store temporarily because of security concerns. We apologize for any inconvenience, but our first responsibility is always the safety of our customers and associates. We hope the store will re-open quickly.”