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Frank's Place customers rally together after shooting

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After two men were shot in the parking lot next to Frank's Place Thursday, longtime customers are rallying behind their home away from home.

“It makes you think how close you are to violence, you never know how close you can be, and bullets don’t have any eyes, so you really don’t know, you know?” said Chip Dempsey, who's been going to Frank's every week for nearly two decades.

Dempsey says this most recent shooting won't affect his view on the safety of Frank's, though.

“It’s a safe corner. Police go through here all the time in this area, not Frank’s Place, but they’re through all the time," he said.

There were a lot of cops coming through the area Thursday night when two men who weren't customers, 25-year-old Gage Burger and 32-year-old Luvelle Neal, were shot in the parking lot next door.

Luvelle Neal was arrested for outstanding warrants, but has been charged at the St. Joseph County Jail for attempted murder. 

ABC 57 News has not confirmed that the attempted murder charge is connected to the shooting that occurred at Frank's Place.

As of Friday night, Burger is still in critical condition after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.

Neal was treated, released, and then booked into the St. Joseph County Jail for an unrelated charge, Possession of a Handgun without a License and three body attachments.

Right now, St. Joseph County Metro Homicide is searching for a third person they'd like to question.

An employee of Frank's Place told ABC 57 that when he reviewed the surveillance footage, he noticed two cars with a total of four guys loitering in the parking lot for 25 minutes before the shooting.

He said then he saw shooting back and forth.

CMHU is currently processing one vehicle, although it is unconfirmed whether or not it is one of the cars the employee saw.

“They said it was a crime scene, so I had to leave my truck here for about six hours," said Dempsey.

“First and foremost, we know it wasn’t any of our friends, because it’s not tolerated down here," said longtime customer Oscor Hall.

Unfortunately, the manager said this neighboring crime scene made them lose out on about 100 customers on what's typically the busiest night of the week.

"This bar is I think a great bar, a good family bar, and a good mix of people, and I hope they don’t get stigmatized because of a shooting," said Dempsey.

Their regulars at least are unfazed.

“No, no, no, this is not happening here. So for those who think frank’s is a bad place, wrong answer, alright? No, no, no. It’s where you enjoy yourself, bring your family, bring your friends," said Hall. 

He and Dempsey say they're going to support it, because it's their home.

Frank's Place does not plan to slow down, so you can check out the band Dream Team Friday night until 1 o'clock in the morning Saturday.


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