Thursday, September 3, 2009

Man Killed in Springfield Bar Threatening Others With What Looked Like a Gun

Springfield, Florida

From the August 25, 2009 Jacksonville Florida Times-Union:

The man fatally shot by a Springfield bartender this morning was threatening people inside with a nailer that closely resembled a firearm, police said this afternoon.

Police said John L. Lee, 20, walked into the Shantytown Pub shortly before 12:30 a.m. wearing black clothing and waving what appeared to be a firearm at a bartender and patrons. The unidentified bartender, who police also said was the manager, thought the bar was being robbed, pulled out a handgun and shot Lee repeatedly.

Lee, of the 1400 block of Cleveland Street, was taken to Shands Jacksonville hospital and pronounced dead. Investigators later determined Lee was carrying a .22-caliber shot tool/nail driver "which clearly resembles a firearm," a Sheriff's Office news release said.

Neither the bartender nor a handful of patrons at the bar at 22 W. Sixth St. were injured. No charges have been filed against the bartender, who has been identified by a co-worker and patrons as Tex. Ian Ranne, co-owner of the bar, declined to comment.

Assistant State Attorney Jeff Moody said Lee came into the bar carrying what appeared to be a firearm, "which caused the employee of the bar to fear for his life and the lives of the patrons." Moody said investigators continue to review evidence to determine whether the shooting was justified.

Court records show that Lee pleaded guilty to dealing in stolen property last month and was sentenced to 12 months of probation. He also was convicted of trespassing earlier this year and received nine months of probation in a domestic battery case in 2008.

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