Penn Live has reported that an innocent bystander was shot and killed due to a stray bullet from a fight at Al's Cafe located at 268 Verbeke St, Harrisburg, PA 17102.
On October 25, 2021, a fight broke out between two patrons at the bar. Damien J. Barber, a convicted felon, had a gun in his pocket that fell out during the fight. The two began to fight over possession of the firearm when it was discharged, sending a bullet into a woman celebrating a birthday party at the bar. The woman later died from the gunshot wound.
Barber was not legally allowed to possess the gun due to felony convictions from 2008 and 2001. He also did not have the gun in an appropriate holster, but instead, it was concealed in his pocket. Barber has been arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter for the accidental death.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced gun crime victim lawyer who represents bar shooting victims. Brian helps victims and their families recover the financial compensation they deserve after a violent crime, such as a shooting. Recently he discussed whether you can sue for being shot at a bar.
"Prevention of violent crime, like shootings, should be a top priority for all bar and nightclub owners. Sadly, bars see a lot of violence, as heavy alcohol consumption can lead to physical altercations. Preventative measures can help reduce the risk of violent crime at bars and are ultimately the legal responsibility of all bar owners."
"If a shooting takes place or gunshots are fired at a bar, and people are injured and killed, the circumstances surrounding the shooting will need to be investigated. While a criminal investigation will seek to identify and arrest the suspect, the bar should be investigated to determine if adequate safety standards were in place. Having sufficient safety standards in place could prevent many bar shootings. This could include monitoring video cameras, sufficient lighting, and security guards."
"Bar owners could be held liable for failing to provide the necessary security to reduce the risk of violent crimes. If previous reports of violence occurred at the bar, the owner would be obligated to improve the property's safety measures to minimize the risk of further violence. This could be added measures including weapons searches and hiring additional security guards. If the bar owner made no safety improvements, they could be considered negligent and held liable in a civil lawsuit by the victims and their families. Victims and their families should explore their legal options with an experienced gun crime victim lawyer."