DUQUESNE (KDKA) — Fire crews were called to a bar in Duquesne late Monday night, less than 24 hours after a fatal shooting inside the same establishment.
Less than 24 hours later, the same bar where a double shooting took place was plagued by fire. Now, the fire marshal is ruling the cause as arson.
“That bar did nothing to nobody. Everybody in Duquesne know who shot Shep,” said bar owner Rick White. “We don’t even make any money in this bar. And you’re gonna come and burn my bar down. Y’all know who killed [him]. That ain’t got nothing to do with me. Burn that dude’s house down. Burn his momma’s house down.”
Rick White owns 1313 Saloon on Kennedy Avenue in Duquesne. He said his business shouldn’t be blamed for the violence that broke out in the early morning hours on Monday.
“I had nothing to do with that. My mom had nothing to do with that. The bar had nothing to do with that. They’re trying to make my bar a nuisance bar,” said White.
No one was at the bar when the fire started. That’s because it’s been closed since Monday’s shooting. Donnell Demery, 55, was killed after he was shot multiple times. A second person was injured, but took off before police arrived to the scene.
Firefighters got the call for the fire around 10:45 p.m.
“Pulled up, I [saw] what appeared to be a fire on the exterior of the building. Our rescue engine pulled up. Crews immediately went to work to attack the fire, contain it and keep it to the outside of the building,” said Duquesne Fire Chief Frank Cobb.
Joanne Harkins has lived across the street from the bar for about three years. She said she never heard gunfire when the shooting happened.
“I’ve never seen anyone shooting up here. Maybe a brawl, but alcohol and attitudes kinda don’t mix all the time,” said Harkins.
Police said they’ve been called to the bar in the past for criminal activity. The district attorney’s office met with the owner of the bar to express concern about prior criminal activity there.
After Monday’s fatal shooting, the DA’s offi¬ce reached out again to schedule another meeting.