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Local business owners react to shooting in Dowagiac

DOWAGIAC, Mich. – A 42-year-old man is dead after a bar fight. Officials say he wasn’t even a part of the original altercation.

The 24-year-old suspect has been booked on a charge of open murder.

The fight started at Beeson Street Bar and continued into the parking lot. Police responded to the call 2:29 a.m. The victim went to grab his gun from his vehicle; he loaded it and opened fire on the crowd. After a short foot pursuit, police took the suspect into custody. The gun he used was an AK-47 style rifle.

Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald said that this type of violence is rare in Dowagiac. “It doesn’t happen often, thank goodness,” he said.  

Just across the parking lot sits an up an up and coming BBQ place, Smoke Signal BBQ, the grand opening was just last week.

The owners are husband and wife. They moved to Dowagiac from San Francisco and brought their business with them. One of the owners Jack Maiuri is disappointed that violence happens everywhere, even small towns. “violence is everywhere. It comes into these small towns, people have disputes, ya know it’s so easy to reach for a gun,” he said.

The couple enjoys the quaint feel of the town. It’s just a cozy little area and uhm we live on the reservation,” Rose Maiuri said. In the future, Rose plans to display tribal artwork and other projects in the BBQ shop. Rose Miauri says that there’s no where she’d rather be than surrounded by her friends and family in Dowagiac.

Jack knows small town’s aren’t exempt to gun violence,  but says this was too close for comfort. “I didn’t think I was going to be sheltered from these things by moving here ya know, but being on the other side of the parking lot – I’m glad there’s a brick wall between us.”

The identities of the victim and suspect have not been released.

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