Topeka Police are searching for a suspect in an early morning shooting outside of a bar in south Topeka on Tuesday, September 18. Officers were called to Abigail's Grill and Bar at 3701 SW Plaza Dr. shortly before 1 a.m. on reports of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found several shell casings and discarded guns in the parking lot and street outside of the bar. However, they did not find a victim.
Later in the night, officers were told that a man had checked himself into a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound. This man was later identified as 34-year-old Damario Brooks. Brooks had critical injuries, but he is expected to survive.
Authorities believe the incident began with a disagreement inside of the bar that progressed into an altercation in the parking lot.
Officers got a brief statement from the victim and an investigation is ongoing. There is currently no description of the suspect.
Attorney contributor Reed Martens represents the victims of preventable violent crime. We've asked him to add some insight into the legal options for victims of bar shootings:
A bar shooting can change lives in an instant. Those who are wounded in these incidents are often forced to endure long and painful recoveries, involving expensive medicals and various physical, emotional, and financial setbacks. Additionally, the families of those killed in these incidents also suffer from similar setbacks.
The criminal justice system handles the arrest and prosecution of violent criminals. However, this court system often fails to directly address the needs of victims. In order to secure the financial compensation, many shooting victims and families choose to explore their legal options through the civil court system.
In some cases, violent crime victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the owner of the property where the incident occurred. In order to have a good case, you will need to establish that negligence played a role in the shooting - such as inadequate security. This is a complicated process which will require assistance from an experienced crime victim lawyer. You can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.