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Weekend shooting causes concern for safety for Roanoke businesses

Roanoke police patrols downtown during peak hours

ROANOKE, Va. – After a downtown shooting this weekend, WSLS 10 wanted to know how Roanoke police patrol the area.

A spokesperson for the department said on-duty officers provide additional presence as available when the bars close early in the morning.

Video from the Sunday morning incident sent to us from a witness captures a shooting in a downtown parking lot and then an argument.

"I was shocked. Because you see the guy walking back from the car and you see the flash from a gun. It's just crazy to think that you could've been walking to your car trying to go home from having a good night and something like that happens" said Derek Chapman, kitchen manager of Fork in the Market.

Multiple gunshots were heard downtown early Sunday morning. Then several people are running around trying to get out of harm's way.

Chapman works close to where the shooting happened on Campbell Avenue and says downtown is normally pretty safe, but that the shooting could have seriously hurt innocent bystanders.

He saw the video on Facebook.

"It's definitely a crazy situation but it was handled in a matter of minutes," said Chapman.

Roanoke police say the shooting happened around 2 a.m.

Officers arrived and arrested two people. Two guns were taken from the black Mercedes. Chapman says like many other restaurants and businesses downtown, Fork in the Market hires their own security for workers and customers.

"Typically during the week we have at least two bouncers. Thursday, Friday and Saturday we have three or four depending on if there's events," said Chapman.

In 2015, police arrested a man for bringing a gun to a fight outside Stefano's on the Market. And in 2016, another man was arrested for shooting and killing Kendall Wallace outside of Benny Marconi's.

"I had a friend that lost a loved one over a year ago in front of Benny. They get into an altercation and the guy got shot. There's nothing they could actually be worth taking someone's life over an argument," said Chapman.

Fork in the Market also has cameras and will call for police backup if needed. As far as the recent shooting, two people were arrested and charged with reckless handling of a firearm and shooting a gun within city limits.

Roanoke police say several businesses hire off-duty officers every weekend and there's an additional off-duty officer patrolling the downtown area during peak periods of time.