Rocky Fork Enterprise

Police respond to 'emotionally charged' scene at Lounge 62


Gahanna police officers arrived at what they described as an extremely hostile scene during the early morning hours of Nov. 29 at Lounge 62 Bar, 593 E. Johnstown Road, where an armed patron was shot and killed by a private security guard.

Omar R. Cunningham, 28, of Columbus was pronounced dead at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center at 3:12 a.m., about 35 minutes after police were called by a Lounge 62 neighbor, who reported hearing gunshots.

An argument inside the bar preceded the shooting that occurred in the parking lot, said Niel Jurist, Gahanna public-information manger.

The Lounge 62 security guard, who hasn't been named or charged, allegedly was threatened outside the bar by Cunningham. When police arrived, they found Cunningham unresponsive with wounds in the upper chest. An officer applied a pressure dressing to an exit wound, and another started CPR until Mifflin Township Fire Department medics arrived on the scene.

One officer tried to move "emotionally charged bystanders" away from the scene and onto the sidewalk while another officer provided security for two officers who had their backs to the crowd, according to police reports.

People were yelling and screaming and trying to get to the officers while they were treating Cunningham, according to reports.

Officers on the scene were trying to keep people back and themselves safe, reports stated.

At Grant, a Gahanna officer saw women who had been at the scene of the shooting. None of them would provide a statement, according to reports.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting Gahanna police with the case.

For the second consecutive year, the Gahanna Division of Police has asked City Council to request that the Division of Liquor Control object to the renewal of a liquor permit at Lounge 62, citing the high volume of calls and incidents there. The renewal objection is still in the hearing process from last year.

To object to the renewal for Lounge 62, a resolution will be needed by City Council. It's currently under consideration.