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Local bars weigh in on safety after fatal shooting inside Bleachers

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- A bar owner in Mishawaka said there’s no reason for customers to have a gun if they’re going out for a good time.

Rocco Zappia owns Roc’s Sports Bar and Grill on Main Street in Downtown Mishawaka. He said he has never had an incident involving a gun at his bar.

“I mean there’s no reason to have a gun if you’re going out for a good time,” Zappia said. “I mean people like to go dance, club, and everything, just keep your guns at home and be friendly with people.”

St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit confirmed Avery Brown, 28, was shot to death inside Bleachers the Bar on Grape Road.

Zappia said he would prefer if his customers did not bring weapons inside his bar.

“Everybody has their rights,” he said.

Currently in Indiana, there’s no law that states a customer cannot bring a bring into places which serve alcohol. Zappia said he can’t say for sure if patrons bring in weapons because of concealed carry laws.

Businesses can post “no firearms” signs, but customers do not legally have to follow the rule. If a customer is asked to leave, they must leave or be cited for trespassing.

Bleachers the Bar does not have a sign prohibiting firearms or other weapons.

The bar inside Strikes and Spares near Grape Road said it is working on a weapons policy. Bars, like Brothers and O’Rourkes inside the Eddy Street Commons, abide by the rules of conduct which includes no weapons.

The Mishawaka Police Department said they are continuing with their routine patrols this weekend to deter drunk driving and incidents like the one which occurred at Bleachers.

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