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Three men were injured in an exchange of gunfire outside a restaurant in Roanoke.

Janis Shaffner had finished her barbecue special at Bob & Cheryl’s restaurant in Roanoke when the shots rang out.

She, her husband, Doug, and a half-dozen other patrons fled to the back of the restaurant.

“Everybody inside hit the back bathroom,” Doug Shaffner said.

By Wednesday afternoon, three people had been reported injured in a shooting that witnesses said began after an apparent spat over being cut off in the parking lot.

About 1 p.m., Roanoke police officers came to the 3500 block of Shenandoah Avenue Northwest, where they found one man lying in the parking lot with injuries, spokeswoman Caitlyn Cline said. Medics took him to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Shortly afterward, two men arrived at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem with gunshot wounds from the shooting, she said.

The conditions of the three men weren’t available, Cline said. Nobody had been charged as of Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses said a fight between two men escalated after an apparent traffic incident in the parking lot.

Inside the restaurant, a man picking up a to-go order exchanged words with another customer. He returned to the restaurant about 15 minutes later with other people and told the customer there to come outside. He left.

The fight began with two people against one man, Doug Shaffner said. Then three against one. Then the guns came out.

After the shooting, the larger group fled. An employee applied pressure to one man’s side after he was shot.

At LewisGale, police seized two vehicles from the hospital parking lot. The hospital’s emergency room went on a brief lockdown after the men arrived.

Anyone with information about the shooting can contact police at 344-8500 or text 274637 beginning with the phrase “RoanokePD.”

Freelance photographer David Hungate contributed reporting.

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