Bar owner: Fatal shooting of 31-year-old began as fight about woman

Crime Watch 8

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – More details are emerging about a deadly shooting outside a bar, marking the city’s 101st criminal homicide.

The owner of Bar 52, John Hansen, spoke to News 8’s Jenny Dreasler about what led up to the incident about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Hansen said it all started as a bar fight centering around a woman, her angry boyfriend and another man.

The victim was identified as 31-year-old David Ballinger on Tuesday. He died of a penetrating gunshot wound to the chest.

Derek Whitt, 40, was later charged with murder in connection to the shooting. 

Hansen said while he realizes his bar is in an area prone to violence, incidents like this one aren’t normal in the bar, located on the corner of Sherman Drive and English Avenue.

“This place is usually really quiet,” Hansen explained. “It’s not something you would normally see. Maybe an argument here or there. But nothing like that.”

But Hansen said it wasn’t quiet around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

“Our daughter was up here working and helping. She called and said ‘Dad, there’s a problem. I heard one of them say they had a gun,'” Hansen recalled. 

That’s when Hansen said he told his daughter to call 911, but a violent fight was already brewing.    

The incident was all caught on Hansen’s 36 surveillance cameras. On Saturday, News 8 had requested the video from IMPD.  

“There was a girl in here and another guy in here and he must have flirted with her or something,” Hansen said. “She got mad and called her boyfriend up. He ended up coming up here. They started to get in to it. The bartender saw it and told them they were all cut off and needed to leave.” 

But the fight continued outside, according to Hansen, who said video showed the woman still arguing with the man.

The confrontation ended after the man believed to be the woman’s boyfriend allegedly pulled out a gun, shot and killed him. 

“I just feel for all the people,” Hansen said. 

Hansen said he is going to do everything in his power to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.

“I have looked into actually hiring IMPD to sit out here and maybe that will help on the weekends or something,” said Hansen. “Cut back. We’ll probably be closing down earlier on the bar side at night. Instead of staying up until 3 a.m. we’ll probably be closing at like 1 a.m.” 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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