It happened around 9:45 p.m. outside the Bahama Breeze in the 3300 block of Wake Forest Road.
Police identified the man killed as 24-year-old Anthony Domonique Lennon.
READ MORE:RALEIGH POLICE RESPOND TO SHOOTING ON WAKE FOREST ROAD
People having dinner inside the restaurant told ABC11 they heard five to 10 gunshots in the back corner of the parking lot.
"We saw people running in the parking lot, so they were scattering," said Linda Graham. "We saw a couple guys, one went in one direction, the other went in the other direction."
Police have not made any arrests.
Lennon played in 35 career games as a defensive back for the Pirates from 2011-2015.
The East Carolina Department of Athletics issued the following statement Saturday:
"East Carolina University, the athletics department, and Pirate football program are saddened by the tragic passing of Domonique Lennon. He made a positive impact on many people during his time as a student-athlete at ECU and earned the respect of both his teammates and coaches. We extend our condolences to Domonique's family, friends and all those who knew and loved him."
Saddened by the news of a former player, Domonique Lennon passing away. A genuine person, aspiring father and true pirate. #RIP31— Tripp Weaver (@JMU_Coach_Weave) June 24, 2017
In 2016, Lennon started training under Anthony Stringfield at 1String Sports Training in Virginia Beach.
In a video produced for the facility, Lennon described how he had collected loose change in a jar in order to pay for lessons and follow his dream of one day playing professionally.
"Football is everything," Lennon said. "Only reason I went to school and high school. Only reason I went to college."
"He loved the game of football," Stringfield told ABC11. "He had dreams of playing in the NFL and I was trying to help get him there."
Stringfield said he was stunned to learn of Lennon's death. He said for the few months he was training with him, Lennon would bring his young son to the gym for a visit.
"He loved his son," he said. "And it's just heartbreaking."
Lennon's former high school football teammates launched a GoFundMe account to support his family and go toward a college fund for his son.
"The 2009 Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Varsity Football team is broken hearted upon hearing of the passing of Domonique," the team said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this troubling time."
Police are still investigating the shooting, anyone with information is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-4357.