CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County planning officials have filed a complaint with the West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office over a Cross Lanes bar that was the scene of a shooting last week.Steve Neddo, of the county Planning Department, reported to the fire marshal that Appetizer's Restaurant & Lounge, on Goff Mountain Road, has only one visible exit, does not have a sign posted listing maximum occupancy and has other apparent safety violations.On Dec. 26, a fight outside the Cross Lanes restaurant and lounge erupted into gunfire, with about 50 shots fired from at least three guns, according to Kanawha County sheriff's deputies. One man was taken to the hospital with a bullet wound to the leg.Calls and emails seeking comment from restaurant owners have not been returned.
Officials for the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration have suspended Appetizer's liquor license while they investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting, and Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper has asked to administration to hold a public hearing about the establishment.
Kanawha County Sheriff Johnny Rutherford has said he is stepping up police patrols in the Cross Lanes area to keep an eye on Appetizer's and other bars in the area. He said there have been several incidents at bars in the Cross Lanes area involving guns in the past few months.Rutherford said the shooting incident at Appetizer's is one of three incidents in recent months of gunfire following private or after-hours parties at bars in Kanawha County.In October, multiple shots were fired following a private party at the Charleston Moose lodge. One man was wounded in the leg.In August, James Foster, 19, was shot in downtown Charleston after attending a private party at Timothy's Bar on Quarrier Street. Police believe the shooting may have been in retaliation for a shooting earlier in the year on the city's West Side.Reach Rusty Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1215.