Bouncer making strong recovery, wife says

Photo courtesy of DONNA BEASLEY
Richard “Jimmy” Beasley and his wife, Donna, pose together in this photo. Donna said Tuesday her husband is recovering after being shot 12 times early Saturday.

A bouncer at a downtown Charleston bar who was shot 12 times by two men early Saturday is making significant strides in his recovery, his wife said Tuesday.

Richard “Jimmy” Beasley, 44, a bouncer at The Cellar, at 8 Capitol St., is now breathing without the assistance of a ventilator and has moved some of his fingers and toes, said his wife of eight years, Donna.

He’s also opened his right eye, moved his head and is not as sedated as before. That is a major improvement, Donna Beasley said, after police initially described his condition as “grave.”

“He’s a fighter and he’s stubborn,” Donna Beasley said. “So, yeah, he’s going to pull through this.”

Doctors at CAMC General Hospital removed some of his bandages Tuesday, she said. They are waiting to see if he needs to undergo any more surgeries, fearing that he might have nerve damage to his left arm. He might also have damage to his left eye socket, she said. He lifted a finger on his left hand Tuesday.

“It was the first time he moved anything on the left side,” she said.

Police said two Charleston men shot Beasley 12 times while he was escorting two women to their vehicle around 2:20 a.m. Saturday. Police believe Beasley had kicked the two men out of the bar earlier that night.

George Edward Sawyer, 29, was arrested by police moments after the shooting. He jumped into the Kanawha River to evade police, but later came back out. Tasheem Ali Collins, 37, was arrested Sunday afternoon in Dunbar.

Both men are charged with malicious wounding and remain in South Central Regional Jail each in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bail.

Donna Beasley said she believes her husband was familiar with the men but did not know them personally. He’s been a bouncer for several years, initially at Whiskey River Pub on Kanawha Boulevard. He also works weekdays at Hooters in Kanawha City. Donna Beasley used to check IDs at Whiskey River Pub and said one of the suspects looked vaguely familiar to her. She plans to attend court proceedings, if she can find someone to sit with her husband, she said.

She said she’s overwhelmed by an outpouring of support received through Facebook and phone calls.

“I get lots of messages that people are praying for him and messages from people I don’t even know,” Donna Beasley said. “It makes me feel good that there’s people out there that care and are praying for us.”

Donna Beasley said she’s been sleeping by her husband’s bedside and is staying strong for him.

“I think sometimes that it’s all surreal and that it’s not really happening,” she said. “And then it hits me, and I try not to get upset because I don’t want him to see me upset.”

Reach Travis Crum at or 304-348-5163.

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