Bond hearing reveals new details surrounding Va. Beach shooting outside bar that left four injured

Earl Royster Bond Hearing March 31 Virginia Beach
Posted at 9:56 AM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 13:00:56-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Virginia Beach General District Court judge denied bond on Thursday for a man arrested in connection to a weekend shooting that left four injured outside a bar.

Earl Royster Jr., 40, was in a wheelchair when he appeared in court for the hearing.

Royster's attorney says he was shot once in an incident that saw three others hit by bullets early Saturday morning outside West Beach Tavern on Cleveland Street.

Police say Royster, who lives in Chesapeake, was one of multiple shooters that night. He faces three counts of malicious assault and three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

According to a police investigator questioned during the bond hearing, Royster admitted to firing first, allegedly telling officers he was at the bar watching his nephew, a hip-hop artist, perform. The investigator told the prosecutor Royster admitted to retrieving an assault-style rifle from a vehicle after an argument broke out between his nephew and other people on site, and shooting outside — at which point others returned fire.

The investigator went on to say Royster was seen moving across the street and shooting "indiscriminately" in the direction of the bar.

Police already on-scene monitoring the business left their vehicle and began firing their own weapons.

12-15 casings were found where Royster had been shooting, the investigator said. However, the gun has not been retrieved. Police have told News 3 they are looking for a second shooter.

Among the others injured were a 27-year-old Norfolk man, police say, along with a 21-year-old man and 17-year-old female from Newport News. All are expected to be okay.

Earlier in the week, Royster was denied bond in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in connection to the shooting of the 17-year-old.

Royster was taken to the hospital and later released, the investigator told the court. He was then arrested at home, where he lives with his fiance and some of his children.

Royster's attorney requested his release on bond from Virginia Beach Correctional Center, telling the court he wasn't receiving proper treatment for his gunshot wound, but the request was denied.

Royster's next court date is scheduled for May.