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Bar Owners Say Weekend Shooting A Wake-Up Call

Reported: Apr. 26, 2014 10:10 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 27, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Dave Benton) -- Saturday morning's shooting happened near the busy downtown club and bar scene, and it was the talk of that part of town.

Richard "Jimmy" Beasley was gunned him down by two men early Saturday morning.

Police said George Sawyer and Tasheem Collins were kicked out of the Charleston Cellar and that the duo tracked down Beasley, who works at the Charleston bar.

Police said the two men then shot Beasley 12 times, hitting him in the head, arm and the legs. The motive of the shooting is unknown at this time.

Beasley was taken to the hospital, where he was fighting for his life Saturday.

According to police, both suspects took off across Kanawha Boulevard. Sawyer headed into the river to get away from police. Police arrested Sawyer, charging him with malicious wounding and assault. They were still looking for Collins Saturday night.

Many people who work in clubs or bars downtown knew Beasley well.

You go out to have a good time on Friday night and don't think somebody would be shot.

Unfortunately, that's what happened to Beasely.

Heading out to the bars on Capitol Street is a normal Saturday night for Joe Ice of Charleston, but he quickly found out one of his favorite spots, The Cellar, was closed after Saturday morning's shooting down the street.

Ice said the violence won't keep him out of the bars.

“The way the world is nowadays, you never know what's around the corner,” Ice said. “Can't live in fear - hope nothing happens to me or anyone else.”

An employee, who works at a nearby bar and wanted to remain anonymous, said he knows Beasely very well and can't believe it happened.

"Jimmy is the kind of guy that absolutely goes out of his way every day of his life to help other people,” he said. “He is a good person, a great friend and Capitol Street owes him a debt for all he's done over the years."

Spots of blood dotted the sidewalk Saturday afternoon on the corner of Kanawha Boulevard and Capitol Street in front of Hoppy Shores’ insurance company.

Witnesses said Beasely was a former bouncer at a bar down the street, and was walking two women to their cars when the shots rang out.

Some bar employees said the previous night's shooting was a wake-up call to continue checking people for guns when they come to their businesses.

The shooting happened around the corner from the cellar, where police said the suspects were told to leave.

That's why the West Virginia ABCA shut it down for 10 days.

“It's in the interest of the public safety,” Gig Robinson, with ABCA, said. “Preliminary reports again indicate there were two shooters and one person is still at large so, we just have to get all the facts and determine who all was involved to keep everyone safe.”



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