Strip-club shooting victim still in bad shape; workers say shooter was a regular
One of the two men shot at the Glass Slipper on LaGrange Street a week ago remains hospitalized in critical condition - and needed emergency surgery yesterday - a Boston Police detective said today.
Sgt. Det. Michael Talbot, other police officers and the owner and some workers at the Glass Slipper testified today at a hearing by the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing on the Aug. 8 shooting, allegedly by Steven Gayle of Jamaica Plain.
Talbot said both Gayle and his two victims - one of whom is now out of the hospital - were regulars at the club and knew each other. A club bouncer said Gayle had been a regular at the club for about two years, and that most recently had been coming in two or three times a week - but that he had always been very quiet and never caused any trouble.
Talbot told licensing chief Patricia Malone that onthe night of the shooting, Gayle arrived around 11:50 p.m. Over the next two hours, he ordered four drinks - three for himself and one for a stripper. The two victims, he said, came in around 1:30 a.m. for a nightcap with other people celebrating their cousin's birthday.
Talbot did not discuss what sparked the shooting. A doorman who was helping to clear the club shortly after 2 a.m., said he heard "what sounded like a cap gun." Then he saw Gayle, followed by another man, whom he said asked Gayle "is that how it is, Steve?" followed by two more pops and then the man dropping.
A bartender on duty that night said the atmosphere in the club that night was "jovial" and that she saw no angry people or any indications of what was to come.
"Out of nowhere, I heard 'pop' and thought 'firecracker.' " Then, she said, she realized what was happening, dropped to the ground, grabbed her phone and made her way to the basement, where she called 911.
Talbot said bar workers "did an admirable job" dealing with the sudden violence and helping the two wounded men. The doorman, Talbot said, did nothing to try to stop Gayle - which might have led to more violence - but instead followed him outside and yelled to a detail cop, Officer Mark Bordley, at Centerfolds next door that Gayle had a gun. Bordley - joined by an off-duty officer who happened to be in the area - began following Gayle, who was "walking very fast," rather than running They stopped him at Stuart and Washington streets and after what Bordley said was "a very tense second or two," convinced Gayle to lay his gun down on the ground.
Glass Slipper owner Nicholas Romano said he's never had a problem like this before in the 27 years his club has been open. He said he immediately ordered a metal-detecting wand to be used on all incoming patrons and that he's now banned hats, doo-rags, sunglasses, tank tops and back packs - Gayle was allegedly caught with a backpack with additional bullets in it.
Although Malone also praised club workers for their actions that night, she said she was disturbed to learn Romano has a policy to lock the front door around 1:50 a.m. to keep outside troublemakers from getting in. Both she and A-1 Sgt. Adam Mazzola said that could have been a major problem if the shooter had kept on shooting up the club and there were nobody at the front door to let police in. Romano agreed to stop that, even if that means putting on an extra doorman or two to keep outsiders out.