Bar Security Negligence in a Fatal After-Hours Shooting Incident

This case study examines a fatal shooting incident in a bar's parking lot, focusing on allegations of negligence due to the bar operating beyond licensed hours and failing to address safety concerns.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 6, 2024

Security guard in night club

Case Overview

This case study delves into an incident where a woman tragically lost her life after being shot in the parking lot of a bar. The shooting transpired just past 4:00 am, beyond the licensed operating hours of the establishment. The individual who discharged the firearm had been expelled and blacklisted from the bar shortly before the incident.

Allegations have surfaced against the bar for negligence due to its operation during unlicensed hours and failure to address safety concerns among patrons. An expert in bar security has been sought to review the case details and provide an opinion on potential negligence.

Questions to the Security expert and their responses


Could you describe your professional background in bar security?

I bring with me 23 years of experience in law enforcement and security. My career as a police officer involved regular oversight of bar and nightclub security. As a consultant, I've conducted threat assessments and devised security plans for hospitality clients, ranging from bars/restaurants to large venues like coliseums and arenas.


What are best practices and procedures for addressing potentially reckless patrons?

The specifics can vary depending on jurisdiction, but generally, it's crucial to identify potential threats early, intervene promptly, and if necessary, involve law enforcement.


Could you briefly discuss some regulations regarding the operation of a bar after licensed hours as it pertains to security?

Operating beyond licensed hours is typically considered a legal violation. However, specific regulations can differ based on location. It's also important to note that proprietors have a duty of care to secure all points of access and egress—not just the front door—as illicit activities often occur at parking lots and back doors.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, could you please elaborate?

Yes, I have reviewed similar cases in my capacity as a police officer and security consultant. Each case is unique, but common themes often involve issues of duty of care, proper threat assessment, and appropriate response to potential threats.

About the expert

This expert brings over two decades of experience in law enforcement and security, with a strong academic background in criminal justice and organizational leadership. They have served in various roles including as a special auxiliary police officer, federal law enforcement officer, police officer, inspector, intelligence analyst, director of investigations, and principal consultant. Currently, they are the principal consultant for a Pennsylvania-based consultancy firm and hold certification as a protection professional from the American Society of Industrial Security.

Expert headshot



About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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