PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Monday, police investigators came out of the Rowdy Buck on East Carson Street, following up a deadly shooting inside the bar that took the life of 25-year-old Dahrique Smith.
“Very big police presence here. I’m surprised it happened right across the street with as many police down here. There are so many people like that night in particular the streets were jammed packed in the street,” Mike Stahler who works at Big Shop Bob’s told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
Nearby shopkeepers seem to think it’s inevitable.
“There’s fights and things like that going on all the time,” added Stahler.
“These things can happen anywhere,” added James Eastley of Glass Worx.
“I don’t want to bring down the South Side or anything, but we do have 80-plus bars down here, so it’s the most concentrated area for that kind of thing to happen,” said Eastley.
Fights are one thing — gun violence another.
One local resident who witnessed the aftermath says local bars need to do more to ban guns from their establishments.
“Drinks half off. They’re going to come down here, and they’re going to party. They’re going to carry their guns because they don’t know who else is down here because everybody is carrying guns,” the woman who preferred to remain anonymous said.
Obviously, there are many hard working shopkeepers here on the South Side, and they worry that the violence at night could be impacting their business.
The reality is that there is both a daytime and night time economy, and it’s the night time violence that could impact the daytime workers.
Chuck Reese, president of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, says day-time is just fine.
It’s late night hours on weekends that are the problem.
His solution: “Secure more police officers down here so they can make a larger presence so they can walk on the side streets, walk on the main streets to make sure people are conducting themselves in an appropriate manner.”
And don’t blame South Siders.
“They’re at their jobs. They’re not just drinking all day long,” says Elisa Beck of Schwartz Living Market.
And they exit before trouble.
“We usually leave the South Side no later than nine, sometimes the latest ten,” added Carla Worthington of Renaissance 3 Architects.