A sports bar in Orlando calls itself the “Happy Place.” Unfortunately, twice in the last five months the Happy Place has been the scene of fatal shootings. The victim in the second shooting also appears to have been wounded in the earlier incident. In addition to the fatal shootings, the bar experienced another shooting incident in October, but this incident did not result in any fatalities.
The shooting was reported to police at 5:41 a.m. Deputies were called to the bar to break up a fight and stop an alleged battery that included the shooting. By the time police arrived, the victim had already died. According to early reports, the police did not make any arrests and do not appear to have a suspect. Police say they are reviewing surveillance tapes and continuing to investigate the incident.
Initial reports of the incident appear to indicate that the police have not identified a suspect. Also, reports do not point to any eye witnesses. The decedent’s sister was arrested at the scene on a charge of resisting an officer without violence.
Depending upon what is revealed by the surveillance tapes, prosecutors may have a difficult time obtaining a guilty verdict in this case. If eye witnesses are scarce or even non-existent, police will be looking for people who knew the victim and possibly the alleged assailant. Much of the evidence of guilt may be circumstantial or may depend on the credibility of the witnesses. Anyone facing charges under similar circumstances may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence, potential defense strategies and, if appropriate, assistance with plea negotiations.