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Police identify victim in Greensboro Waffle House shooting

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A man is dead after he was shot several times outside of a Waffle House in Greensboro early Monday morning, according to police.

Police say Tony Ray Battle, 37, died in the parking lot of the Randleman Road Waffle House around 3:30 a.m. during a gun fight.

They've identified a person of interest in the shooting but are still following other leads.

Police tell FOX8 Battle worked at another Waffle House in Greensboro and he was not working a shift at the time of the shooting.

We talked to some of Battle's co-workers, who are completely heartbroken and say it's been a tough day at work. The Waffle House, which is normally open 24 hours a day, closed for several hours this morning during the investigation.

Friends say Battle worked in the kitchen and say he was a great cook.

Now, police are trying to figure out what caused the fight then ended with his death.

People who work at nearby businesses described when they showed up to work Tuesday and learned about the homicide.

"I've seen too much yellow tape, and when you see too much yellow tape, you know there's a body somewhere," said Jasmine Davis, who works at Stephanie's Restaurant.

Next door, employees scrubbed the Waffle House parking lot with bleach to clean up signs of the gun fight.

Police say the shooting started with a "huge brawl" between several people inside of the restaurant. The fight escalated and spilled outside, where multiple people pulled out handguns and started shooting at each other.

"A Waffle House? You're there to eat," said Ellis Boat, who's eaten at the Waffle House before. "How do you have that much animosity to where somebody has to die?"

"Gun on gun violence is not going to solve anything," Davis said.

Customers and people who work nearby are now terrified the same thing could happen to them.

"Look how close it is! It's right here," Davis said. "It's right here, so I feel like if it happened there it could happen here any time, any moment, any day."

Police don't know what started the fight, or if the people involved even knew each other.

But customers we talked to say there's a better way to end an argument than resorting to guns.

"Evidently, we don't have great problems solving skills when it comes to violence," Boat said. "Talk it out. Peace it out. Whatever happened to a handshake? 'My bad.' Walk it off."

There were other customers inside the Waffle House at the time of the shooting. Some customers and witnesses ran off and others stayed to give their accounts to police.

Police aren't sure if anyone else was hurt in the shooting.