CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police are searching for the person responsible for killing a man outside a bar early Sunday morning. It’s the second time someone has been shot in the shared parking lot for two businesses on Westinghouse Boulevard in the last couple weeks and the owners are concerned it could start affecting business.
The business owners for La Poblanita Mexican Restaurant and Trap Bar say the area is typically safe, but after the two deadly shootings they’re brainstorming ways to make customers feel safer.
“We stayed away from the windows trying to keep everyone safe,” said Julio Castaneda. “Everyone was scared. We didn’t know what was going on.”
Castaneda is describing the moments early Sunday morning when his employees were locking up the restaurants and they started to hear gunshots next door.
“It started in the parking lot. It was a lot of people fighting and screaming," he said.
Police say a 34-year-old man died in the parking lot outside the Trap Bar. Employees at Trap didn’t want to do an interview, but said they don’t allow for people to bring guns into the bar and are just as frustrated about what happened as their neighbors next door.
“It relates our business to a problematic area or a problematic restaurant," said Castaneda. We just want to make sure it’s clear these are incidents of a growing city."
But the concern of crime in the area is growing for the business owners. Two weeks ago, a contracted worker at the Mexican restaurant was shot and killed during an attempted robbery. That incident prompted major security changes.
“We are increasing the amount of lighting in the parking lot. We are increasing the amount of security we have on Saturday nights and hopefully we can have off duty police officers watching our parking lot," said Castaneda.
Castaneda said him and the owner of the Trap Bar have a meeting scheduled later in the week to discuss what can be done to make customers feel safe.