EASTON, Pa. - As the flakes were flying Saturday morning, so were bullets.
Easton Police said a man was shot in a gang-related killing outside a Center Square bar. Now, downtown restaurants are worried the incident will scare off customers.
Center Square is billed as a family-friendly destination.
"We're just coming down to Center City Easton here to take my son to the Crayola Factory," said one visitor named Jeremy.
But news of a deadly shooting there has visitors taking notice.
Officials said the victim was identified as 33-year-old Damien Robinson, who also goes by Damien Frazier.
"I heard a loud pop while I was in the bar, and I saw a bunch of people run out and yelling and saying someone had a gun," said neighbor Ryan Zaengle. "Someone got shot."
It happened at Eddie G's Downtown Pub. Just hours later, the bar was back open. While a 69 News crew was there, a fight broke out inside among customers.
"There's been fights that have come out from there and trickled out onto the street," said Josh Vogel, manager of Pearly Baker's Restaurant next door. "There's been raids, like loads of police officers going in there."
"There's always problems, and always stemming from other bars," said Zaengle. "But [Eddie G's is] pretty bad."
Investigators believe the shooting involved "Bloods" gang members from Newark, N.J. They are looking for two "persons of interest." One is a heavy-set black man, around 6 feet 1 inch tall, with long dreadlocks. He was seen wearing dark clothes. Police said the man ran out of the bar's back exit down Pine Street.
They're also looking for another black man with an average build and a full beard or goatee. He was wearing an orange sweatshirt with white writing. Easton Police are still trying to identify numerous people who fled the bar after the shooting.
"EPD is receiving very limited cooperation at this time from parties that were patrons at the bar," said Easton Police Lt. Matthew Gerould.
Eddie G's paid a $1,250 fine last year for serving underage drinkers, but otherwise, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board lists no other violations for the bar.
Easton has worked hard to get people downtown at night. Several upscale restaurants have opened there. Still, some visitors are wary of the area after dark.
"I don't normally come down here during the evening, so I think it would be nicer during the day, if you come down during the day," said Travis Warke, a visitor from Berks County.
Jeremy added: "Hearing about that definitely makes me concerned about bringing my family down here."
Vogel hopes to organize other businesses to fight back.
"Hopefully, we can get together with some of the other bars, possibly talk with the mayor or Rep. Robert Freedman, to make some changes," he said.
Eddie G's had no comment Saturday.
Easton police are also attempting to identify numerous individuals who fled the bar after the shooting, before officers arrived.
Any information pertaining to the homicide can be directed to Det. Matt Rush at 610-250-6639 or the Easton Police Investigation tip line at 610-250-6635. Callers can remain anonymous.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Western New Jersey 69 News