California Bar Staff Shot Dead by Customer After Dispute—Police

A bar employee was shot and killed by a customer after a disagreement in a California bar on Sunday night, police have said.

The shooting occurred in the 1900 block of Willow Street at the Crow's Nest bar in Long Beach at around 10:15 p.m., authorities have said. Long Beach Police issued a press release regarding the incident.

The employee and the customer got into a verbal altercation which resulted in the customer pulling out a gun and opening fire, striking the barman, according to Long Beach Police.

The shooter then allegedly fled on foot from the scene. Police arrived to find the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and the victim was rushed to a hospital by ambulance but succumbed to his injuries and died.

Police have not yet released details about the victim.

Police said that anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Don Collier or Leticia Gamboa at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477)

Newsweek has contacted the Long Beach Police Department for comment.

On January 10, Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish, addressed the crime statistics for 2021 in a statement released by the police.

"While most major cities in our country experienced an increase in murders compared to 2020, the murder rate in Long Beach did not increase," Hebeish said.

He continued: "This is in large part due to the overwhelming efforts of our police officers and professional staff. That being said, every murder is a tragedy and one life lost to violent crime is one too many.

"We will continue to work with the City and community partners to provide public safety while also exploring the fundamental causes of violent crime."

The Long Beach Police statement also highlighted how they are attempting to combat gun crime. They noted that gun arrests were up 36 percent compared to 2020 while overall arrests were down 18.9 percent.

The Police Department also introduced the Coordinated Response Team (CRT) in June 2021 to reduce gun violence. The CRT is expected to attend community outreach events to ensure the community knows why they are taking enforcement action. CRT, since being created, has seized over 150 firearms.

"As a whole, the Department has seized a total of 1,057 firearms, a 37.3 percent increase from 2020. Since implementation of this program, the rate of violent crime has continued to decrease," the statement read.

It continued: "The Department also hosted a gun buyback event, which resulted in a total of 280 firearms being removed from the community. At the end of 2021, the Long Beach Police Department has reported a 50 percent decrease in shootings since December 2020."

Stock image of a gun. Police have said a dispute in a Long Beach bar resulted in the customer shooting an employee. Getty Images