A bouncer at Taste Lounge, Bar and Grill lifted up his shirt in court Tuesday to show a judge his bullet wound that went through the front and out the back of the left side of his abdomen.
Terrance Fowler, 30, of Lawrence, testified at the preliminary hearing for Dante Marcus Fields, 20, the Topeka man accused of shooting Fowler outside the club early March 17.
Fowler said he was outside the club when he and others caught a man walking out the door with a tip jar from the bar.
After an initial scuffle, Fowler said, the man then dropped the jar onto the ground and began walking to a red Camaro. He said the man then pointed a chrome gun at him and walked toward him, accusing Fowler of choking him seconds earlier.
“I was just thinking more or less that this weapon’s being pointed at me, just more shock,” Fowler said. “I raised my hands up and said ‘I guess this is it’ to myself.”
Fowler, who said he could not positively identify Fields as the man with the gun, testified he grabbed the gun when the man was a few feet from him. The men then went to the ground, where Fowler tried to take control of the gun when it fired.
Another worker drove him to the hospital, and Fowler, who called an emergency dispatcher on the way, gave police the license plate number of the Camaro the suspect had left in. Minutes later police stopped the red Camaro in west Lawrence near Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive, and police apprehended the passenger, Fields, and his cousin, who was driving.
Officer Anthony Brixius testified Fields told him in an interview he was drunk and decided to grab the tip jar.
Fields also claimed a bouncer had grabbed his throat outside the door and seconds later pulled him out of the Camaro, choked him again and threw him to the ground. So Fields removed the gun from his waistband and shot the bouncer in the side.
“He told me he didn’t know how to respond to being choked,” Brixius said.
Police after the shooting found a chrome 9-mm pistol east of 23rd and Iowa streets, where Fields told officers he had thrown the gun out the car’s window.
District Judge Kay Huff ordered Fields to face an Aug. 1 trial on aggravated battery, theft and possession of marijuana charges.
The March 17 shooting was the third incident since October at Taste Lounge, 804 W. 24th St.
City Attorney Toni Wheeler has said city staff members are in the process of collecting and analyzing information regarding activities at the club because the city might request a hearing before the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control agency to consider revoking or suspending the bar’s liquor license.