Man killed at bar was kicked out

By Joe Gorman


The man killed at an East Side bar Sunday morning had been kicked out for a fight but returned with a shotgun and fired at least two rounds before he was killed, police said Monday.

Capt. Brad Blackburn, chief of detectives, said Ezequiel Rivera, 21, was shot by a bar employee who had a valid concealed-carry handgun permit after Rivera managed to get inside Mi Raza in the 1400 block of Oak Street with the shotgun about 2 a.m. Sunday.

A news release from the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy on Rivera is planned for today.

Blackburn said Rivera and another man got into a fight inside the bar and both were told to leave. Both left, but Rivera came back with a 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip, Blackburn said. He fired one blast at the building as he was walking in and managed to get inside before the doors could be closed, he said.

“They saw him coming up on video and couldn’t get the doors closed,” Blackburn said.

Inside the bar, Rivera fired a shot at the ceiling before he was killed by the employee, Blackburn said.

Another man, identified by Blackburn as Rivera’s brother-in-law, Steve Gonazlez, 34, was treated at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital for a gunshot wound to the back. Blackburn said Gonzalez was wounded by the bar employee when Gonzalez was trying to stop Rivera and was shot accidentally.

Many people were inside at the time of the shooting, Blackburn said. He said it was good fortune that no one else was hurt.

Blackburn said police are conferring with prosecutors to see if charges will be filed. He said the bar employee may not be charged if prosecutors determine he was acting in self-defense.

A check of court records shows Rivera has just one criminal conviction – in 2013 in Mahoning County Area Court in Boardman on misdemeanor counts of possession of dangerous drugs and disorderly conduct.

Rivera’s death is the 10th homicide in Youngstown in 2015. In 2014, the city had 19 homicides. At this point in 2014, there were four homicides.

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