COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein’s office says it will ask a judge to hold a bar and property owner in contempt following a weekend shooting the killed a 30-year-old woman.
The shooting, which happened early Sunday morning at the Queen of Hearts Pub off East Livingston Avenue, claimed the life of Shamira Rhodes, and injured at least two others.
Court records show the bar’s previous owners were under an agreed court order to limit its hours, hire security and not allow anyone to enter under the age of 30, among other stipulations including no loitering and increased signage.
The agreed order emerged out of nuisance allegations that Klein’s office leveled against the bar, the Pelican Club, and the property owner. But the new owners of the bar “are still subject to the court order as long as it remains in effect for that parcel,” according to a spokesman for Klein’s office.
The court order, which was filed in February, is to remain in effect for one year.
It states that any violation of the order, “the court may further close and board up… the storefront.” That holds true for the previous bar owner or its successor.
10 Investigates has been unable to reach the current bar owner despite two phone calls and three emails placed Tuesday.
Attorney Jim Andrioff, who represented the bar when it was previously called the Pelican Club, said the city attorney’s office approach of targeting bars following shootings won’t quell violence, just send it elsewhere.
“You can’t just start shutting down all the bars because there is crime out there in the streets,” Andrioff told 10 Investigates Tuesday.
When pressed on if bar owners bear some responsibility for what happens inside their venues, Andrioff said:
“There is no question they bear responsibility for what happens at their bar. But if you are business owner and you are trying to prevent things from happening by getting security detail and getting police. There is a big difference between getting Columbus Police as security versus a private security company that doesn’t get the same training.”
10 Investigates reached out to Klein’s office and the Columbus Division of Police to get responses to Andrioff’s criticisms that bars are struggling to attract officers to work special duty assignments. A spokesman for Klein’s office said he would get back to us. We have not yet heard back from the Columbus Division of Police.
The Columbus Division of Police has released surveillance video images showing women inside the bar they would like the public to help identify.
The shooting early Sunday morning at the Queen of Hearts Pub killed Rhodes, injured her 17-year-old sister and another woman.
“Her life was just cut down tragically and it overwhelmed everyone who was involved with it. It is honestly something we never expected to come into contact with,” said Tiara Walton, who described herself as being like a sister to Shamira and is helping to raise her youngest son.
Walton described her friend as charismatic, fun-loving and said she was a mother of three children, a hairdresser and entertainer whose life was cut short.
“Where she was in that moment does not define who she was, as a person or character or how this case is looked at,” Walton said.
State Rep. Latyna Humphrey, D – District 26, described herself as friend of Rhodes and had known her for 18 years.
“This is unacceptable… this was just too much for me,” said Rep. Humphrey, who blamed the continued gun violence in Columbus – including her district – on an ease of gun restrictions and lack of conflict resolution skills among people.
“I don’t care what the disagreement was, it didn’t need to end in death,” said Rep. Humphrey.