EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Last week, El Paso saw two shootings and a stabbing, near or around local bars, a trend that is causing concern for some.
On April 28, KTSM reported a shooting near Lloyd’s Pub in West El Paso, then just a day after a stabbing in the parking lot of Union Drafthouse off Sunland Park and another shooting in the parking lot of MI Cantina and Bar off Zaragoza.
It’s an ongoing problem in El Paso that is being discussed by city officials.
City of El Paso spokesperson Laura Cruz-Acosta said since April of 2021 El Paso Police Department has increased its patrols around entertainment districts such as Cincinnati, Zaragoza, and Five Points.
According to the data that was provided to KTSM, EPPD had 751 officers assigned to these areas in May of 2021.
Cruz-Acosta said from 2019 through 2021, the city has actually seen a drop in the number of violent incidents in these areas.
She said Zaragoza saw a drop of 58 percent, Cincinnati of 37 percent and Five points saw a drop of nearly 40 percent.
“We know more needs to be done and that is a reason why we have developed this collaborative approach,” Cruz-Acosta said explaining that EPPD is collaborating with multiple agencies on the city and state levels, one of them being TABC.
Chris Porter, spokesperson for TABC said they are currently investigating all three mentioned incidents from last week and s far have not determined any of their licenses should be suspended or revoked.
TABC conducts investigations that mostly focus on what is going on inside of the establishment, such as if the person serving alcohol overserved a customer that was already showing signs of intoxication and it later lead to an incident.
However, many of these incidents happen outside of the establishment, often in parking lots.
Porter said, in that case, they assist the authorities with the investigation based on the information they acquired about events inside of the establishment.
“If the bar allowed or encouraged violent activity on the premises if they saw someone carrying a handgun or if they allowed that to continue,” Porter named some examples of the extent of their investigation.
KTSM also reached out to city representative for District 5, Isabel Salcido, that oversees the Zaragoza area.
“It’s worth noting that most of those shootings do not take place inside the establishment but outside in the parking lot or adjacent areas, often after a firearm has been retrieved from a vehicle, something that mandated additional checks at the door would unfortunately not be able to stop,” Salcido said in the statement.
She believes state-level weapon ownership regulations would be a better solution to mitigate these violent incidents.
Rockin Cigar Bar in the Cincinnati district was court-ordered to hire licensed security guards in 2021 after reports of several violent incidents near the bar.
Owner Frank Ricci said, ever since then, they haven’t had any problems.
“It’s definitely a good step, it’s definitely necessary,” he said.
Ricci said in talking to some of his industry colleagues he is seeing more violence around bars even with some “smaller friendly bars,” and he is not sure if any regulations put in place could help stop this issue.
“As far as laws that could fix that I don’t know if anything that could be done except for changing society and getting these kids to understand that there are massive consequences,” Ricci said.
- Title 42 won’t keep migrants out, will put their lives at risk, advocates say
- East Texas father pleads guilty to abuse of son’s corpse
- Bill Mattingly Scholarship has found its 5 scholarship awardees
- Burrito tape: Students invent edible adhesive to seal tortilla
- CDC warns doctors to watch for monkeypox
- Most Wanted: Week of May 20