ELKHART COUNTY -- Police are still looking for the person who shot and killed a 25-year-old Elkhart man and hurt two innocent bystanders outside a Dunlap bar.
Investigators identified the victim as Cordero Williams-El because of tattoos on his body. WSBT found out this wasn’t the first time there’s been trouble outside Gemini’s Bar & Grill, but one of the owners said she’s done everything she can to keep customers safe.
“I basically panicked, I cried,” Tawana McBride said, describing what happened at the bar just hours before. “It touched me. I didn’t know who he was but to sit there and watch somebody die like that, I've never seen anything like it before.”
Witnesses said Williams-El was walking down a sidewalk on the side of the building when a car in the parking lot started shooting at him. Witnesses told WSBT Williams-El then got out his own gun and returned fire at the suspect car in the parking lot. He opened up his door to go inside, fell on a door mat and died.
Security cameras outside the building captured a lot of it and that footage was turned over to police, said McBride.
“From that video it showed that it must have been a beef. Had nothing to do with the bar,” she added.
She also said she took steps to make the bar safer after shots were fired in the parking lot a few months ago – including pat downs and metal detector wands at the door, hiring off duty police officers as security guards and calling police to patrol the parking lot when the club closes on weekends.
“Half the time they don’t care if the officers are out there or not,” she said. “They still fight and carry on and do what they do.”
She said she was already in the process of selling her part of the business and what happened there Thanksgiving night only reinforced that.
“It’s scary to me because I have a family I have to go home to. So that’s another reason I’m getting out of it,” McBride added.
Police did not say anything about a motive or suspect Friday and were also not releasing names of the two women, who were shot. They were described as being in their early 30s and police said they did not have life-threatening injuries.
Williams-El was in the bar before the shooting happened but McBride said he would not have had a gun on him then because of Gemini’s strict security measures.
Court documents show Williams-El was convicted of domestic violence in front of a child in 2010. He was also arrested about two months ago for resisting law enforcement.