Police are searching for a suspect in the shooting death of 31-year-old Ernest Dixon at Shooters Bar on Island Avenue. Dixon was shot at the bar early Sunday morning. Authorities are currently searching for 36-year-old Omar Harris, who they believe was the gunman.
According to the police, Harris is accused of walking up to Dixon inside of the bar, pulling a gun out of his waistband, and fatally shooting him.
Dixon was hospitalized and later died from his injuries there. He was a father of three.
According to a report by CBS Pittsburgh, other customers were searched for weapons before entering the bar. Family members of Dixon are questioning how Harris was able to bring his gun inside the bar.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent, is a shooting victim lawyer who represents bar shooting victims and their families in civil cases. Here are some thoughts from Brian on the legal options available to these victims and families:
When a bar shooting occurs, it’s important to both prosecute the shooter and to determine if the shooting could have been prevented. Bar owners have a legal duty to keep their properties reasonably safe from the threat of violent crime. This can be done through measures like hiring security guards who can search bar patrons for weapons upon entry. But in some cases, an otherwise preventable bar shooting occurs due to inadequate or negligent security.
For example, if a patron is not searched, brings a weapon into a bar, and shoots another patron, the bar owner could possibly be considered negligent. In cases of negligence, those injured and the families of those killed in the shooting may have grounds for a lawsuit against the bar owner.
Bar shooting cases are complex. If you or a loved one has recently become a victim of a bar shooting, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking with an experienced crime victim attorney.