Police in Sanford are currently investigating a shooting that left one man dead at a bar on Historic Goldsboro Boulevard on Saturday, September 8. Officers were called to a bar called Mama Coot's Place shortly before 3 a.m. on Saturday. Upon arriving, they discovered a man, later identified as 28-year-old Derek Williams, with gunshot wounds.
Emergency responders attempted to save the man's life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are still looking for the gunman and an investigation is ongoing.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard represents the victims of shootings and other crimes in civil court. We've asked him to add some legal commentary on bar owner liability for shootings in bars and nightclubs:
The owners of bars and other businesses have a legal obligation to their customers and their communities as a whole. As part of the responsibility of owning a business, these property owners are obligated to make sure their premises safe from preventable dangers which could lead to injuries or deaths. In addition to accident dangers like slip and fall hazards, preventable violent crime is also part of this obligation.
Depending on the circumstances of a particular incident, bar owners may be considered liable for a shooting if their negligence was a factor in the incident. For example, the owner of a bar with a history of shootings and violence could potentially be considered negligent if they failed to enact security measures to reduce the risk of future violence - such as hiring security guards and conducting weapons searches.
If you or someone you love recently became the victim of a bar shooting, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking with an experienced crime victim lawyer.