Buffalo police shut down bar after overnight shooting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Police have temporarily shut down Checkmate Bar and Grill in the Lovejoy neighborhood after an overnight shooting. The victim is in critical condition.

Neighbors in the Lovejoy neighborhood say this isn’t the first time there’s been trouble at Checkmate. That’s why they want the city to keep it closed for good.

Police say the shooting happened just before 3 o’clock Saturday morning in the 1100 block of Lovejoy street. Detectives say there was some kind of incident inside Checkmate Bar and Grill involving many people. They say that incident continued outside the bar, where a 32-year-old man was shot. He was taken to ECMC in critical condition.

Joseph Stabler lives across the street and tells me he found bullet holes in his fence.

“It’s scary, but I got little kids in the house, that’s what really puts it over the edge for me. It was temporarily closed before and nothing’s changed so what’s going to happen when they open again?” said Joseph Stabler.

Stabler says he’s talked with the bar’s manager before and says he was told a few months ago that they were stepping up security.

Councilman Rich Fontana says the bar was temporarily closed for a few days last summer.

“I’m not looking to make deals. This isn’t deal time. This isn’t a one incident time. This is obviously a problem, residents don’t want to see it,” said Councilman Rich Fontana, of the Lovejoy district.

Fontana says the bar is closed for the rest of the weekend. He says a decision on how long it’ll be closed will be made Monday.

When it reopens, it will operate without a liquor license.

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