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Man arrested in connection with shooting near Virginia Beach restaurant; police looking to identify second shooter

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West Beach Tavern surveillance video still.PNG
Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 16:40:17-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Police have arrested one person in connection with the early Saturday morning shooting that happened in the 5000 block of Cleveland Street near the West Beach Tavern.

Police have arrested Earl Thomas Royster Jr., 39, of Chesapeake, and charged him with three counts of malicious assault and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Royster is being held in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond.

Police are still trying to identify a second shooter.

During the night of the incident, police say two officers saw a group get into an argument near the front of the restaurant and say people then started shooting at each other.

The officers shot at someone with a gun, but apparently missed, according to police.

Four people were hurt in the other crossfire, but all have non-life-threatening injuries.

News 3 spoke to the manager of the restaurant who was working the night of the incident. She says it didn't happen on the tavern's property and showed us surveillance video of people running from the gunfire.

West Beach Tavern surveillance video

There was a show going on inside the restaurant at the time. A security team was checking people for guns at the front door, the manager told us.

The Virginia Beach Police Department Detective Bureau is continuing to investigate this shooting. If you know anything about this incident, you're asked to contact the bureau at 757-385-4101 or call the Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).

Stay with News 3 for updates.