WKRG reported a tragic incident that unfolded at Sam's Lounge located at 1225 N Old Corry Field Rd, Pensacola, FL 32506, a man has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting another man to death on Friday night July 21, 2023. The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Michael Rodriguez, was booked into the Escambia County Jail on Saturday morning and now faces a homicide charge.
According to an official statement from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, deputies rushed to the scene just before midnight on Friday after receiving reports of a shooting at the popular bar. Upon arrival, they discovered a critically injured victim and immediately transported him to Baptist Hospital for medical treatment. Tragically, despite their best efforts, the victim succumbed to his injuries, leading to the launch of a murder investigation.
During the investigation, authorities found evidence linking Michael Rodriguez to the shooting, and he quickly became the primary suspect. Reportedly, Rodriguez attempted to flee the scene, but his escape was short-lived, as he was apprehended by deputies later on.
Jail records have revealed that Rodriguez has a history of run-ins with the law in Escambia County. Prior arrests include charges of battery and drug possession. However, it's noteworthy that he hasn't been booked into the county jail in over a decade, making this recent incident all the more shocking to the community.
In the aftermath of the bar shooting, questions arise about seeking justice for bar shooting victims and their families in general. We sat down with gun crimes injury lawyer, Mike Haggard, Esq., a local Florida-based lawyer renowned for his expertise in handling gun crimes injury cases. In this exclusive interview, Mr. Haggard sheds light on how victims of bar shootings can pursue legal recourse by suing negligent bar owners.
Darla Medina: Absolutely, Mr. Haggard. The incident has left the community in shock. Can you shed some light on how victims of bar shootings can seek justice through legal means?
Mike Haggard: Certainly, Darla. When it comes to bar shootings, victims and their families may have legal recourse against the negligent bar owners. Establishments that serve alcohol have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their patrons. If it can be proven that the bar owners were negligent in maintaining security measures or knowingly allowed a dangerous situation to persist, they may be held liable for the harm caused.
Darla Medina: That's interesting, Mr. Haggard. Could you explain how this liability is established in such cases?
Mike Haggard: Of course. To establish liability, we typically investigate various factors surrounding the incident. This includes reviewing security measures, surveillance footage, and whether the bar had a history of violent incidents. For instance, did the bar have proper security personnel in place? Were there any functioning security cameras? Were there any prior incidents reported to the authorities that the bar owners failed to address? These are crucial questions in determining the bar's negligence.
Darla Medina: I see. So, if it can be proven that the bar owners were indeed negligent, what kind of compensation could victims and their families expect?
Mike Haggard: The compensation victims and their families may be entitled to can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in some cases, even punitive damages. It's essential to work with experienced attorneys who understand the complexities of gun violence injury cases and can fight for the rights of the victims.
Darla Medina: That makes sense, Mr. Haggard. Lastly, what advice would you give to the community in the aftermath of such a tragic event?
Mike Haggard: Victims and their families should focus on healing while allowing experienced legal professionals to handle the legal aspects of the case. If anyone has information related to the incident or the bar's security measures, they should step forward and assist the authorities to ensure justice is served.