Employees at Bramble & Hare — a farm-to-table restaurant just off Boulder's Pearl Street Mall — disarmed and held down a 32-year-old man accused of fatally shooting another man at the eatery just after midnight Monday, according to the establishment's owners.
Boulder police announced Monday morning that they had a suspect in custody, but declined to identify him. However, Boulder County Jail records show Boulder police arrested Louis Joseph Sebastian, 32, at 6 a.m. Monday on suspicion of first-degree murder after deliberation.
The shooting occurred a little after midnight at the restaurant and bar located at 1970 13th St. The restaurant's website shows midnight or later as the closing time on Sunday nights.
Police say they believe two people got into an argument inside the restaurant, then went outside, where shots were fired. They went back into the restaurant, where police say additional shots may have been fired.
"We and the Bramble & Hare staff are devastated by the events that took place Sunday night," owners Eric and Jill Skonan said in the statement. "Our hearts are broken for the family of the victim. In addition, our hearts ache for our staff and guests who had to endure the traumatic event."
"We are in awe of the bravery and professionalism our staff displayed during the event. Bramble & Hare employees disarmed and apprehended the assailant, holding him down until police arrived. In addition, both staff and guests performed CPR on the victim until paramedics arrived."
The victim, an adult male, was taken to Boulder Community Health's Foothills Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
The Boulder County Coroner's Office will release the name of the victim once next of kin have been notified.
"Since Bramble & Hare opened nearly five years ago, the food-focused bistro has never experienced violence of any kind," the Skonans said. "We will work with staff to help them deal with any post-event stress and trauma. And again, our hearts are broken for the victim's family."
The Skonans also said they are working closely with Boulder detectives as they investigate the shooting.
The restaurant and bar is located between Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and its sister restaurant, Black Cat, near the popular pedestrian mall's public restrooms and tourist information center.
On Monday afternoon, crowds gathered at the intersection to watch street performers, and some people brought up with their friends and family what had happened at Bramble & Hare.
Visiting for the day from Erie, Stephen Roseborugh said it's more common to hear about shootings in the Denver area than in Boulder.
"This is supposed to be one of the meccas of the world — a safe place to be," he said.
University of Colorado students Rachel Leadholm and Danielle Mangat said they thought it's chilling that somebody had been killed so close to the bars they frequent.
"Right here on Pearl Street you want to feel safe," Leadholm said, adding she was disappointed someone would bring a gun downtown.
Louisville resident Andy Sermak, who said he served in the military and knows how to use a gun, said the purpose of a gun is to kill, and anybody can have one at any time.
"They make a small person feel bigger," he said.
Boulder resident Doug Miller said there's plenty of crime in Boulder, but firing a gun on the Pearl Street Mall is rare.
"It can happen anywhere and any economic class, too," he said. "I was shocked for Boulder. It makes me worried more about guns, that's for sure."
Anyone who may have additional information on this case is asked to call the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-1974.
Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at crimeshurt.com.
Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to an arrest and filing of charges may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Amelia Arvesen: 303-684-5212, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/ameliaarvesen
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