LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The deadly Jefferson Street shooting has raised safety concerns with local bar owners and many are wondering if added security is the answer.
“I don’t ever want to do that again. I never want myself or my staff to have to go through that again,” Legends Owner Jared Doise said.
Bar owners vividly recall the moments after shots rang out late Saturday night.
“I heard two quick pops and my body that was standing, working next to me asked if that was firecrackers and I said no I think that’s gunshots,” Doise said.
“It was a terrifying event seeing people running from what they thought was a threat to their lives. It was quite terrifying and unusual for Festival International,” Wurst Biergarten Manager Clay Tucker said.
A situation many of them have never experienced.
“This is my 13th festival and we’ve never locked down the entire place. I’ve been in this business a little over 20 years now and I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Doise said.
Doise said since the shooting, he feels security should be re-evaluated.
“What ‘Im hoping is that this might spark a conversation with the entire central business district with LCG. If it costs us a little more financially to make it more secure we are definitely open to that.”
And the Wurst Biergarten Manager Clay Tucker said it’s sad that it has come to this.
“It’s a tough situation because this is public space. You are absolutely welcome to walk around and enjoy your downtown, but there are the few people who take these actions that are extreme for personal reasons that ruin it for everybody else.”
“Security is paramount. A few folks have talked about the loss of revenue we suffered on the Sunday after festival, that pales in comparison to the loss of life and the potential long term effects to downtown Lafayette. That’s what really scares me,” Doise said.
Lafayette police declined an on-camera interview; however, they did mention they are working to address security in downtown.