2nd shot at Bar Gilbert alarms residents |
A second shooting in four months at the Sandbar Mexican Grill in Gilbert has prompted residents to call for it to be closed and city officials to see what can be done.
The first shooting took place on May 8 and the most recent on August 28 after altercations. Police said both male victims of the incidents survived their injuries.
“It’s concerning because this is a second incident,” Councilman Scott Anderson said. “We had a meeting with Sandbar officials a few years ago over noise complaints. Measures have been taken to combat excessive noise.
“We will be looking to our police for suggestions,” Anderson said. “Maybe it’s time for another session with the managers.”
Councilman Laurin Hendrix said the city’s hands were tied because it didn’t have ‘the authority to interfere in the private affairs of a private company’ unless it broke the law or violates any code.
That said, Hendrix added, “However, the city has the resources to advise businesses and educate them on how to best deal with these types of challenges.”
Councilor Yung Koprowski said incidents that put public safety at risk are always a concern for her and that she hopes “solutions will be implemented by stakeholders to reduce these incidents.”
The police department is actively investigating the incident,” Koprowski said. “As to past issues and future plans, the police department is compiling data and assessing the extent of the issues so that we can identify solutions.”
“The police department will also meet with Sandbar management next week to discuss the concerns and get their input on how they will respond,” she said.
Koprowski added that the city will also contact the Arizona Department of Liquor Licensing and Control to see how the agency can help with Sandbar’s evaluation.
Police spokeswoman Brenda Carrasco said the department has reviewed recent calls for service at the company and, in its meeting with Sandbar’s management team, “will discuss community concerns related safety and identify solutions that will foster a safe and welcoming environment”.
Sandbar owner Evening Entertainment Group released a statement saying, “We are aware of the situation that has occurred in the parking lot of SanTan Pavilions. Our restaurant closed without incident as usual that evening, and was closed at the time of the altercation in the parking lot.
Mayor Brigette Peterson, Vice Mayor Aimee Yentes and council members Kathy Tilque and Scott September did not respond to questions for this story.
The suspects in both shootings remained at large as of last week.
The latest incident happened around 2:20 a.m. Sunday. Witnesses told police a major altercation broke out, resulting in multiple shots being fired in the restaurant parking lot by suspects in a vehicle who then fled.
Officers were unable to find any gunshot victims, but shortly after were notified by a local hospital that a 27-year-old man with non-life-threatening injuries had been admitted for treatment.
The May shooting happened around 1 a.m., also on a Sunday.
Police say an altercation involving customers inside the Sandbar spilled over to the company’s parking lot. During the altercation, a man was shot twice and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police say the shooter was in the front passenger seat of a red Dodge Challenger, which sped to the scene.
Witnesses identified the alleged shooter as a black man in his late 20s to early 30s with short dreadlock-like hair, wearing what appeared to be a set of matching men’s short-sleeved rompers, the police said. police.
Meanwhile, hundreds of residents on social media were commenting on the shooting, with many calling for Sandbar to be shut down and criticizing the establishment for not policing its customers.
“Shut down this place it’s not even good,” one person wrote, adding, “Sandbar Gilbert take responsibility for your clientele.”
One woman agreed, writing “This place seems like a problem magnet and too close to my house. It’s a stain on our communities,” while another commented, “this place has become dangerous, attracts too many scum”.
“This place needs to go,” another woman wrote, “it brings nothing but drama and trouble to the area.”
The big question for one woman was why Sandbar is even open after 2am while the rest of the mall is closed at 11pm.
“If Sandbar wants to be open until 2 a.m., they can bring that trash to downtown Gilbert with the rest of the party scene,” she said.
Surrounding businesses should ask SanTan Pavilions not to renew Sandbar’s lease, one person suggested while another requested that his liquor license be suspended.
One man said it was no surprise what happened.
“A bar that blasts its music and bass seven nights a week, adds booze and drugs, you have a dangerous formula that would eventually lead to two shootings like this, not shocking,” he said. he declares. “I knew something was going to lead to this eventually.”
And another man said Sandbar was not to blame for the incidents, but that “it appears he is responsible for creating a culture that obviously doesn’t take violence or tampering with drinks seriously. “.
Sandbar, which also has locations in Chandler and North Phoenix, debuted in 2019 at the SanTan Pavilion near East Williams Field Road and South Santan Village Parkway. The outdoor mall is located in the Spectrum district.
Less than a month after the sports bar opened, however, surrounding residents began inundating Gilbert police with noise complaints.
At the time, Evening Entertainment Group said it had disconnected the subwoofers and turned off the speakers and the city was working with landlords to address residents’ concerns.