The DJ at a nightclub in East Falls was wounded by gunfire in the early hours of Saturday, August 18. Officers were called to Club Taboo at around 12:40 a.m. on reports of a shooting with one victim. Once they arrived on the scene, officers found the DJ with a gunshot wound to his leg. The victim told officers he did not know who shot him. He was brought to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
An employee at Club Taboo told the police that she hears a gunshot and then saw a man she recognized by his nickname, “Gritty,” running towards the exit with a gun. This man was later identified as 34-year-old Jason Lawson.
Investigators found a possible address for Lawson and were at the home when he arrived there. Officers then detained and arrested Lawson. He has been charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure.
Here is attorney contributor and shooting victim lawyer Brian Kent with some discussion of the legal options available to violent crime victims:
Shootings, stabbings, and other violent incidents that occur in public raise many questions. Along with finding, arresting, and prosecuting the offender, we should also ask if any third party negligence enabled the violent incident to occur.
Bar and nightclub owners, along with all other property owners, have a legal obligation to keep their properties free of preventable dangers. In some cases of violent crime, the incident was reasonably foreseeable and may have been prevented if the property owner had taken the right preventative measures, such as hiring security guards or checking customers for weapons upon entry.
The victims of shootings and stabbings in nightclubs and bars may have grounds for a lawsuit against the owner if the owner’s negligence created conditions that allowed the crime to occur. Additionally, dram shop laws allow victims to sue businesses who served alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated if that person injures someone else because of their intoxication.
Assigning liability in bar shooting cases is complex. Victims and families who are curious about their legal options should discuss their case with an experienced crime victim lawyer.