Metro Weekly

Man Brandishes Gun, Threatens Staff at Minneapolis Gay Bar

Charging documents claim suspect became involved in an altercation with staff after being asked for his ID.

The 19 Bar – Photo: 19 Bar, via Yelp

A Minneapolis man has been arrested and charged with felonies after allegedly pulling out a gun and threatening staff at a historic gay bar in the city.

Hennepin County prosecutors say Conell Walter Harris, 30, entered 19 Bar, the oldest continuously operating LGBTQ bar in Minneapolis, located in the city’s Loring Park neighborhood, on Monday.

He quickly attracted the attention of other customers, who claimed he was “acting strangely,” according to Minnesota Public Radio News.

When an employee asked Harris for his ID, Harris became visibly upset. When a different employee asked Harris to leave, he allegedly pulled out a gun, held it in his hand, and said, “I ain’t going nowhere,” reports Minneapolis ABC affiliate KAKE

Harris allegedly “squared up” with the employee, prompting a patron to insert themselves between Harris and the bartender in an attempt to de-escalate the situation, according to court documents. But Harris threatened both the employee and the patron, telling them, “Watch what the f— you’re saying,” and “I’m going to f— you up.”

Harris then exited the bar, telling the bartender, “I’ll f—ing kill your dyke ass” as he left.

Witnesses say Harris later re-entered the bar and began playing pool before officers arrived on scene. Police say Harris resisted arrest and repeatedly reached into his sweatshirt pocket. Officers allegedly recovered a .45 caliber Glock on Harris’s person. 

Harris faces felony charges of making violent threats and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a mass shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which killed five and injured 20 others. The alleged shooter in that case, Anderson Lee Aldrich, who identifies as nonbinary, was stopped after two patrons tackled them, beat them with their own gun, and restrained them until police could arrive. 

Last week, a man in Atlanta was arrested for allegedly making “terroristic threats” towards at least two LGBTQ nightclubs. The suspect in that cases, Chase Staub, allegedly posted videos to Instagram that appeared to imply he intended to shoot up one club. Staub entered the second club in person and allegedly made threats to patrons and employees before being asked to leave.

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