Justin Lucas thought someone was pulling a prank on him as he stood outside The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, just after closing time on March 26.
“It kind of sounded like firecrackers,” the 21-year-old University of Chicago student testified Friday in Douglas County District Court. “I felt a burning sensation in my legs, looked down, and I was bleeding.”
Lucas was one of three people injured after gunshots were fired into a crowd of people gathered outside the bar near the KU campus.
He told the judge he was hit twice in the right calf and once in the left ankle.
Lucas, a wrestler in his senior year at the University of Chicago, said he still has trouble walking.
KU student Matthew Lett, 22, was hit in the forearm and the shin. He testified that pieces of shrapnel are still lodged beneath his skin and that he’s also suffering lasting effects from the shooting.
Alex Theis, a 19-year-old KU student, was shot in the shoulder. He testified that while his physical wounds have healed, he’s still struggling psychologically from the incident.
All three victims took the stand during a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon for 22-year-old Joseph Muhammad. Muhammad is charged with three counts of intentional aggravated battery stemming from the incident.
The driver of the getaway car, 24-year-old Derek Foster, also took the stand, testifying against his friend.
Foster said that as he and Muhammad were leaving the bar, someone made a snide remark.
The two then drove back past the bar, where Foster said Muhammad pulled out a gun, leaned out the window and fired off six to eight shots.
Foster was originally facing three counts of aiding and abetting in connection with an aggravated battery.
However, earlier this week Foster pleaded guilty to one count of aiding a felon.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the other charges.
Defense attorney Edward Bigus argued there was no evidence to show that his client was intentionally trying to shoot anyone; rather he believes the victims’ injuries are more consistent with bullets ricocheting off the ground.
“A critical point will be was his intent to hit people or scare people,” Bigus said.
Assistant District Attorney Jim McCabria argued the state doesn’t have to show Muhammad “was a good shot” to prove his intent.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, Judge Michael Malone found there was probable cause to bind Muhammad over for trial on three counts of aggravated battery.
Malone scheduled a jury trial for July 27.