The manager of Legends Sports Bar resents people associating the business with shots fired at a parking lot on Milgen Road.
“That’s how people get their businesses shut down,” said Jim Golden in a recent interview with the Ledger-Enquirer. “If it happens here, that’s one thing. But if it don’t happen here, that’s another thing.”
The incident occurred June 10 when shots rang out in a parking lot near the bar. Police arrived on the scene around 2:26 a.m., according to Columbus police reports. They arrested Patrick Stanley, 19, of Citronelle, Ala., and charged him with reckless conduct and discharging firearms within city limits.
The address listed in the police report is 5762 Milgen Road, which is where Legends is located. But Golden said the shots were actually fired in the Winn Dixie parking lot.
“We had a little skirmish inside, we put the people out and they left,” said Golden. “About quarter til 3, that’s when we started letting everybody out the bar. ... And I heard three gun shots.”
He described the skirmish as a “little altercation” that had nothing to do with the shooting.
“Just because they’re shooting, doesn’t mean it has anything to do with us,” he said. “It was a 19-year-old GI who did the shooting. That’s who they arrested, and he was not in the club. He’s not old enough to be here.”
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said a Georgia State Patrol officer was on a traffic stop in the area and heard shots being fired in the parking lot. He notified CPD and officers responded.
“The shooters had left the scene when officers arrived,” the mayor wrote in an email. “They obtained the name of a male by the name of Patrick Stanley who had reportedly fired a weapon in the parking lot. He reportedly was also in the military. Officers contacted his company commander who told him to return to the scene.
“At the scene he admitted to firing his handgun into the air,” she said. “He reported that other males in the parking lot were the ones that shot up the vehicles. He fired his weapon to get them to stop firing theirs. They left the lot and he also left.”
Yusef Chew, a truck driver from Baton Rouge, La., said he witnessed the incident while sitting in the Winn Dixie parking lot. He arrived in Columbus about 11 p.m. June 9 to pick up products from a local chemical company. He parked in the Winn Dixie parking lot, at 5750 Milgen Road, and three men drove up several hours later.
Chew said a skirmish broke out in the parking lot, and two minutes later “all hell broke loose.” He said the parking lot was filled with hundreds of people from Legends.
“There was 15 minutes of shooting, straight,” he said, describing it as a shootout. “People were running, crying. It was a whole crowd full of people. One young lady’s car got shot up.”
The car owner said she was in the Legends nightclub when the shooting occurred.
“Everybody was exiting out of the building, and as soon as I heard the gunshots I ran back inside,” she said. “Soon as the shooting stopped, I got in a car with one of my friends, they dropped me off to where my car was parked. That’s when I realized my car was shot up.”
Golden discounted Chew’s account of events, saying only about three shots were fired. He said no one at the bar was involved.
“... We’ve got 11 bouncers in here and if anything gets started, they’re on top of it before anything can happen,” he said. “We’ve got way, way more security in here than we need; but I have them here to keep things safe.”
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