Anthony Jackson, 22, said he shot another man at Cross Town Tavern early Saturday morning in self defense.
"I'm just glad I'm here right now," Jackson said.
An investigation is under way, police spokesman Sgt. Paul Fellers said Saturday night. Police had made no arrests as of Sunday night.
The shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. Saturday at the tavern at the intersection of 19th Street and Haskell Avenue. Following the shooting, the victim, Latouche D. Shaw, 28, of Lawrence went by private vehicle to Lawrence Memorial Hospital and was then flown by air ambulance to a Kansas City hospital. His condition was unavailable Sunday.
Jackson said he did not know Shaw, but he detailed what he said were the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
In late February, Lawrence police arrested a 27-year-old Lawrence resident on charges stemming from an aggravated assault and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The arrest followed a Jan. 24 incident in the 400 block of Illinois Street. Jackson tied the trouble at Cross Town Tavern on Saturday to this January incident.
Jackson said he plans to testify in court about the Jan. 24 incident and has been concerned about his safety because others do not want him to testify.
He said he'd been lying low recently but his girlfriend's birthday spurred him to go to Cross Town Tavern on Saturday. He said at the establishment, he was approached by others regarding whether he would testify in the earlier incident.
"I stood my ground, and I said no, I'm going to do what I have to do," Jackson said. "They didn't like that too well."
Jackson said he was trying to make an exit when he had an altercation with Shaw.
"I turned away for just a split second and when I turned back toward him, he hit me," Jackson said.
He said he then was struck with what felt like a beer bottle. "I looked up and realized he was getting his gun out of his pocket," he said. "When I saw that I instantly put my arm up and starting pushing him back."
Jackson said he was armed because he had been concerned about his safety and his family's safety. Jackson said when he saw the man reaching for his gun, he shot him.
"I knew if he would have gotten that out, I would be dead right now," he said.