Man charged in shooting outside of Virginia Beach restaurant appears in court

Earl Royster appears in court on Friday, July 8.
Posted at 12:24 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 17:20:14-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Earl Royster, the man charged with shooting several people, including a teenage girl, outside of West Beach Tavern, made an appearance in Virginia Beach criminal court Friday.

Royster faces three counts of malicious assault and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Royster was denied bond back in March. During that hearing, a police investigator said that Royster was at the bar watching his nephew, a hip-hop artist, perform.

They say Royster then admitted to firing first — after retrieving an assault-style gun from a nearby car when an argument broke out between his nephews and others there that night.

According to the investigator, Royster was seen moving across the street firing indiscriminately at the bar.

Police then fired back, and between 12 and 15 shell casings were found near where Royster was shooting.

Detective believes a 17-year-old girl was shot by Royster, along with two others.

Royster was also shot during the incident. During his initial bond hearing, Royster was in a wheelchair; Friday, Royster appeared without a wheelchair and had family in the courtroom.

During Friday's hearing, Royster was assigned a new attorney after filing a bar complaint against his previously assigned public defender.

A date to confirm Royster's new council is set for July 15 at 8:30 a.m. A preliminary hearing date will then be decided from there.