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Latest local bar shooting raises concerns: ‘It’s a constant battle’

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - City leaders are responding after a bar shooting downtown. It’s the second shooting at a business on Broad Street in just about a month. Now we’re asking the city and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office if they’re considering upping security as we head into the Halloween weekend.

One man was injured after a shooting Sunday at Bar on Broad in downtown Augusta. Deputies say they are still searching for a suspect.

We reached out to the sheriff’s office multiple times about this case and got the incident report. According to it a fight broke out early Sunday morning and it was the person who was trying to break it up who got shot. But there are bigger questions lately about if not only shooters should be held accountable but bar owners too.

“It’s a constant battle,” said Augusta Commissioner Dennis Williams, District 2.

Keeping violence out of the bar scene isn’t an easy task but an important one.

“Young people will be young people. Bad people will be bad. So we just have to do as much as we can to protect ourselves,” he said.

Williams says he understands there’s only so much bar owners can do, but commission has recently weighed in on a situation where it was suspected bar owners weren’t doing what they needed to do at all.

“Based on some situations, you use strong punishment, and on some you use mild punishment. It just depends on the situation,” he said.

Richmond County investigators allege bouncers were told not to check for IDs and guns. It’s one of the things that landed their business on probation. But things could be a different story at Bar on Broad.

“We have to look at the details before we go through any judgement. The owner of the establishment is responsible for the action in the establishment, so — first question is did the owner do everything he or she needed to do in order to make sure that his establishment was safe?” said Williams.

He says businesses will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. But what shouldn’t be case by case: whether you’re checked at the door.

We spoke to one employee at another nearby bar who says he’s never heard of anything like this here before.

We also reached out to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office about whether they’ll be increasing patrols in this area or the general downtown area for Halloween weekend and we’re waiting to hear back.

According to a release from the sheriff’s agency, the suspect in the Bar on Broad shooting is a 6-foot, 200-pound Black male wearing a blue and black jersey. If you have any information to help deputies, you’re asked to call them at 706-821-1000.

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