HARRISBURG – Harrisburg's mayor shut down one bar over the weekend after a parking lot shooting was reported, and a second, unrelated shooting occurred Sunday, Harrisburg Police Chief James "Whipper" Johnson said.
Friday night at about 11:30 p.m., Harrisburg officers were sent to Los Amigos bar on East Raymond Street in Harrisburg after Saline County Central Dispatch received word that two males were shooting at each other in the bar's parking lot, Johnson said.
At the time, officers told bar personnel that they would have to close immediately and that those present would need to leave the premises. A few minutes after the shooting was reported, Harrisburg Mayor John McPeek arrived to the scene and told the bar owners he was closing the bar Saturday. He later expanded the closure to a 48-hour time period. It was permitted to reopen Monday.
Los Amigos is owned by Esteban Tello.
Johnson said it was fortunate no one was hurt.
"We didn't have any report of any injuries or property damage," he said.
He said an officer found one bullet casing, which is believed to be from the shooting. He said the investigation is continuing.
McPeek said he and the city won't tolerate violence.
"I just want to be very clear that we're not going to tolerate guns and violence around bars. There's no reason for it," he said. "Especially when this is in a residential area."
He said he is exploring creating a city ordinance that would prohibit bars in residential areas.
He said Harrisburg currently has three establishments considered "bars," – Los Amigos, Town Square Pub and Sisco's.
He said Harrisburg historically has not had many issues at its bars, and he wants to keep it that way. He also said he wants to explore whether training for bartenders may be available that would help stop potential violence before it starts, and whether the city could make that training mandatory.
In the second weekend shooting, someone fired a weapon at the Mings Apartments on Marsh Street on the western side of Harrisburg, Johnson said. He said no one was injured, and that the shooting was not related to the Los Amigos shooting.
That shooting occurred at about 11:15 p.m. Sunday, he said.