An argument about vomit on someone’s shoe led to a Buchanan man getting shot outside the Roanoke City Market building over the weekend, police said.
Timothy Pendleton, 35, was in stable condition after being shot in the hip early Sunday, police said. A hospital spokeswoman said Monday she had no information about Pendleton.
Roanoke police are still searching for a man they’ve identified as a person of interest in the 2 a.m. shooting, which was preceded by an argument that began at Awful Arthur’s.
A fight between two women escalated, and as a group of people tried to break up a brawl, a man walked to a car, got a handgun, shot Pendleton and returned the gun to the car before getting a ride from an acquaintance, Chief Tim Jones said.
“Come on, Roanoke, we are better than this,” Jones said Monday at a news conference at which he lamented the violence. “If you live in this city and you care, by all means do the right thing. If you don’t, move somewhere else. I have had it with you.”
Such violent crimes are rare downtown, and city surveys over the years show most people feel safe there.
But the police department did beef up its presence at Market Square last fall after a man was stabbed.
The department won’t do that again, partly because of mixed reviews from merchants.
When the shooting occurred, 10 police officers were in the downtown area, Jones said. Another three officers and a supervisor were providing off-duty security for downtown establishments, but not Awful Arthur’s.
“Obviously, putting more police officers downtown won’t fix it, because this individual felt perfectly comfortable walking through at least 10 to get a gun and shoot someone,” Jones said.
Several people filmed the encounter. One video of the shooting posted on Twitter had racked up more than 31,000 views by Monday afternoon. In it, one can hear a man say “He got shot” and someone say, “Go rob him. Rob him.”
“It’s hard to regulate moral behavior, and obviously there’s not a whole lot of moral behavior going on after 2 a.m. in our downtown,” Jones said.
Police might still charge others as accessories to the shooting, the chief said.
“I will tell you folks, I have had it with people supporting and condoning bad behavior and poor judgment,” Jones said.
Many people egging on the brawl weren’t downtown to patronize a specific establishment, he said, but “are there just to witness the show.”
“This isn’t some kind of rap video,” Jones said. “This is a place where we live.”
Anyone with information about the shooting may contact police at 344-8500 or text 274637 starting with “RoanokePD.”