UPDATE: Police looking for man in shooting outside Williamsburg restaurant

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Police on Monday identified a suspect in a shooting outside the Crust Restaurant early Saturday that left a security guard injured.

John Lee Johnson, 22 of Newport News, is wanted on charges of maiming, reckless discharge of a firearm, shooting into an occupied dwelling and brandishing.

John Lee Johnson. Photo Credit: Williamsburg Police Department
John Lee Johnson. Photo Credit: Williamsburg Police Department

Officers responded to the restaurant in the 200 block of Richmond Road after they got a call about a shooting around 12:45 a.m.

Witnesses told investigators that a man fired shots during an altercation between two groups leaving the restaurant, according to Major Greg Riley, a spokesperson for the Williamsburg Police Department.

Paramedics rushed the victim by helicopter to Riverside Regional Hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

Johnson reportedly ran away from the scene.

A co-owner of the restaurant told 10 On Your Side a member of their security crew escorted one man outside before the shooting.

An employee says it was a guard who was shot.

The co-owner says the restaurant has only been open for a year and he’s devastated the shooting happened outside the establishment.

Students from William and Mary were also shocked about the incident.

“I think it’s just cause I’m young and feel invincible I never thought I’d be concerned about my safety in Williamsburg,” said sophomore Shani Cave.

The restaurant is directly across the street from the college. Cave and her friends say it’s a popular place for students and some were worried that a student was shot.

“Everyone wanted to make sure their friends were okay,” said sophomore Mary Burns.

The students say the shooting is not going to stop them from going out in Williamsburg.

“It could’ve happened anywhere. To just stop showing up somewhere is not a good way to prevent it,” said sophomore Edward Fortunato.

These students also said they feel like the school did not send out alerts quick enough.

According to the school’s alert notification website, messages through their system were sent out an hour after the shooting was reported to Williamsburg Police.

In a statement to 10 on Your Side, a campus spokesperson says:

“Our goal is to provide timely and accurate safety information to the campus community. In any critical incident there are a number of factors that influence the flow of this information, especially when it is not our initial police report or jurisdiction. We did respond officers immediately to the area to protect our campus perimeter and gather information as it became available.

We use any “live” or training experience to better our practices. This instance will be no different, we will review this case for any recommended revisions.

William & Mary uses the Rave alert system. Students are required to register (which requires inputting contact information) and other members of the campus community (including visitors) may elect to do so. It is this contact information that is used to communicate alert messages.”

William & Mary’s Chief of Police Deb Cheesebro also sent a message on Saturday regarding the incident. It stated:

“Dear William & Mary Community –
The Williamsburg Police Department continues its investigation into last night’s shooting near Tribe Square. More information on that investigation may be found in this Virginia Gazette article. Although there is no indication that the suspect remained near the campus after he fled, W&M Police increased their patrols in the area after the incident as a precaution and will continue those increased patrols tonight.
Please continue to be aware of your surroundings and call 911 to report anything suspicious. Please also make use of such resources as the Campus Escort (221-3293) program, which offers evening transportation on campus, as well as the Rave Guardian and In Case of Crisis apps.
The Rave Guardian app works like an emergency “blue phone” in your pocket and has a number of additional important safety functions. One touch can connect you immediately with W&M Police, or you can send a text or photo tip. The app will also let you set a timer if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place, so that friends, police or others you trust will be notified if you are late. The In Case of Crisis app provides a guide of helpful education and response information on a number of emergency situations. The apps may be downloaded from the W&M Emergency Management Team’s website, which also offers additional information and resources related to campus emergencies. On that site, you will also find information about registering for the emergency notification system. Please make sure your personal mobile number is the first listed on your profile in that system. In the case of Clery warnings, as we had last night, alerts will be sent to that number first.
Your safety is of utmost importance to us. William & Mary and Williamsburg are generally very safe communities, but this morning’s incident is an unfortunate reminder that crime can and does occur here. As you enjoy your evening, please remain aware of your surroundings and look out for one another.”

Police ask anyone with information to call the Williamsburg Police Department at 757-220-2331 or the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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