ROANOKE, Va. – Four separate shootings in Roanoke City over the weekend sent three people, including a juvenile, to the hospital and damaged a downtown business.
A bullet flew through a window at Shiskha Hookah Bar early Sunday morning when shots rang out in Downtown Roanoke.
John Nicholson, the general manager, heard it all.
People were getting upset with each other, almost like a rumble was about to start, and all of the sudden we hear gunfire, gunshots,” said Nicholson.
Nicholson said he was cleaning up at the end of the night when his coworkers ran back inside and took cover.
“We just ducked until things calmed down,” said Nicholson. “My bartender called police.”
Roanoke City Police said about a hundred people were gathered in a parking lot near Market Street and Campbell Avenue when several people fired around 40 to 50 shots, hitting several cars and at least one business.
The crowd cleared and then a fight between two women broke out and officers used pepper balls to break it up. Police say everyone ran away before police could identify any suspects, but investigators did find 50 bullet casings from different weapons on the ground, including 9 mm and 7.62 rounds which are commonly used in military-style rifles.
“I think it’s a miracle that everyone is still safe, but it could have took a whole other turn,” said 17-year-old Mateo Nobriga, who was walking around downtown Roanoke with his family on Tuesday.
“It’s just terrible. There’s no use for it,” said William Jarvis, a Salem resident.
That wasn’t the only shooting.
The first happened on Friday, July 10 around 11:30 when a man showed up at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds.
Then, before midnight, a juvenile male walked into the hospital with a gunshot wound. Police said neither victim would cooperate and investigators couldn’t find crime scenes.
On Saturday, July 11 around 1:15 p.m., a third man who was shot went to Carilion. Witnesses told police that shooting happened on Prillaman Drive NW.
Nicholson said everyone’s just lucky to be breathing.
“I could have gone out that night and been shot in the crossfire,” said Nicholson. “Things like that should just never happen. Never happen.”
Nicholson believes the downtown incident may be gang-related, however, police said -- at this point-- they do not think any of the four incidents are related.
No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call Roanoke City Police.