Six Tips from a Lawyer in Case You or a Loved One Have Been Involved in a Shooting at a Bar or Club
(1) Don’t fully trust the business owner
(2) Act quick
(3) Save Social Media Posts
Videos, Facebook posts, messages, Instagram photos, tweets and the like are often deleted. One club we sued promoted itself as a gangster’s paradise. They basically made money off of having a reputation for trouble. Many posts were deleted, not just about the incident, but about the way they ran the club. Not only did we save the posts before they were deleted, but made an issue of the deletion. It was like admitting guilt and reckless conduct. Did the business post that they were hiring security days before the shooting? Did the business have guns or knives in promotion materials? We have seen (and saved) it all.
Oftentimes, these clubs are owned by people who own many clubs and they try to hide behind staff and managers. They know what they are doing and it is important to pin them down, too.
(4) Preserve Evidence
Certainly make sure you get any injured people help. After that, if you were there, record what you can. Be discrete about it, but a picture is worth a million words. What cars are in the parking lot? What employees were on the scene? Where did the evidence land? Were there drugs visible? Was the club doing something illegal? Where were the cameras located? These things help and evidence disappears.
Sometimes media can help with this, too. They can bring cameras and get interviews and get information documented from moment one, especially since they usually arrive shortly after the police get there. Don’t call the media, let a lawyer handle that, but know that they may can help a case and victim tell their story.
(5) Please, please tell what you know
In every case, we see someone post something like “snitches get stitches” or seek to intimidate witnesses from talking. These killers are scary and fear of retaliation is real. I even own a bullet proof sport coat. I understand, but do you know what is more important? Closure and answers for the family. Justice. Not protecting a murderer and getting killers and people who shoot up clubs full of innocent people off of the street.
Crimestoppers will take tips anonymously. We can also do some things to protect identities, as can the police, but please tell an investigator or tip line if you saw something or if you later overhear something which gives information about the killer or shooter.
(6) Be Respectful of the Victims
There is a word when someone loses a spouse- “widow.” And there is a word when a child loses a parent- “orphan.” There is no word in the entire English language when a parent loses a child. It’s not supposed to happen. We must come together to stop the senseless killings. And let family properly mourn.
When we were hired in the Jordan Davis case, CNN was on the way down to Florida and affiliates from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and an independent station were banging on the door during our meeting to talk to the family. Families need to prepare and grieve. Let police, investigators and lawyers handle the details. If someone you know was injured or killed, recognize that these are literally the worst days for the family. Pray. Love. Give. But Be Respectful.
Want More Advice?
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We invite you to review our verdicts, our accolades and awards and what clients have to say about us and give us a call for a free consultation where our lawyers will consult with you personally. John represents clients in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and before the U.S. Supreme Court with passion and compassion. Our firm handles a wide variety of injury and death cases, criminal defense, family law and a host of high profile matters all over. We can be emailed at [email protected] or call us at (904) 444-4444 and be there within 24 hours.