Two shootings in a week near Huntington bar raise concern

Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 11:35 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - UPDATE 3/27/22: When gunshots echoed in the streets outside of a nearby bar Saturday night it caused quite a commotion for Lowell Autsin.

“I was trying to drive back to my apartment but everyone was scrambling around trying to avoid the area,” said Austin.

His home is feet away from the bar, but with all the chaos he decided to drive to Charleston to stay with a relative.

Police say a man was shot in the leg and a woman was shot in the abdomen while waiting in line to get inside Premier Bar and Grill around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Just last week, another shooting took place nearby. Police say the shooting was connected to the bar although the incident did not happen on the bar’s property.

Austin spoke with WSAZ when the first shooting happened. He was scared to return to his home of 14 years.

Sunday, Austin spoke with us again saying, “They should have their liquor license suspended or revoked. Either way that bar should be shut down and I will be able to sleep at night,” said Austin.

A couple blocks down on 4th Avenue, a sports tavern and grill called Bar None was open both times the shootings happened.

The owner of Bar None, Jason Lea, says there is concern for safety for patrons and employees anytime violent acts happen nearby.

He said when incidents like this happen it can be easy to blame a business.

“You just don’t know who might take something to a really, really unfortunate extreme,” said Lea.

The investigation in both shootings are ongoing. Police have not released information about possible suspects in either shooting incident.

The Alcohol and Beverage Control Administration is working with Huntington Police. The ABCA could make the decision to revoke or suspend the bar’s liquor license if certain information from the investigation is determined in the police investigation.

WSAZ knocked on the door of Premier Bar both Sunday, March 20 and Sunday, March 27 but no one answered.

WSAZ did notice signs posted on the door about a dress code and I.D. requirements on March 27. There is no word on when the signs were posted or if they were up prior to the shooting.

WSAZ has reached out to the bar and tried contacting the owners who say they would not like to make a statement or provide a comment at this time.

UPDATE 3/27/22:

Huntington Police say they discovered a man and woman had been shot while they were waiting in line to enter the Premier Pub and Grill, located at 1518 4th Ave around 11: 30 p.m. Saturday.

The woman was shot in the abdomen, and the man was shot in the leg. Both victims were taken to a local hospital for treatment to their injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

The Huntington Police Department has been in contact with the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration regarding the operational status of Premier.

ORIGINAL 3/26/2022: Two people have been taken to the hospital after a shooting outside Premier Pub and Grill in Huntington

Dispatchers say the shooting was reported on the 1500 block of 4th Avenue around 11:30 p.m.

No word on the extent of injuries, or a suspect.

A shooting was previously reported at the same location last Sunday.

Keep checking for the latest information.

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