Kamenetz Reaction to Shooting at CVP 'Consistent' But Restrained

Police chief says alleged shooter was licensed to carry a gun and "had half a load on."

A shooting outside the Charles Village Pub in Towson is not drawing the same ire from County Executive Kevin Kamenetz as a brawl outside another Towson watering hole attracted in September.

"I have consistently stated that the owner of a liquor establishment, a bar, have the responsibility for their patrons after they leave the building," said Kamenetz.

Francis Minsung Kang, 26, of the unit block of Brook Farm Court in Cockeysville was charged early Sunday with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and use of a handgun in committing a felony.

Kang was leaving the Charles Village Pub when he allegedly threw a bottle of Gatorade at a woman and a fight ensued. He pulled out a handgun and fired five shots into a crowd, striking one man in the hand, according to police.

Kamenetz's reaction was a toned down version of comments made in September when he was asked about a brawl outside the Recher Theatre in Towson.

"I really lay the blame on one particular operator here who delegated responsibility to some third-party promoter and I've got a real problem with that because they have a liquor license and they have responsibility to maintain not only order within their premises but those who are outside their premises who are there because of the event they are promoting," Kamenetz said during a Sept. 25 news conference.

But in November, the County Board of Liquor License Commissioners ruled that Brian and Scott Recher were not responsible for the melee. A spokesman for the county executive downplayed the earlier comments and called the owners "good corporate citizens" and said the Kamenetz wanted to "move forward."

Speaking Monday, Kamenetz said the liquor board would have the option to review the Charles Village Pub incident after police complete their investigation.

Kamenetz said "the question for the liquor board, after any of these types of circumstances is not did the incident occur inside or outside the premises but also was this person intoxicated and obviously the suggestion in both of those incidents was that they were intoxicated, which goes back to the liquor board's oversight of that licensee."

Police Chief Jim Johnson downplayed suggestions that Towson is becoming more violent after the incidents outside the Recher Theatre and Charles Village Pub.

"Violent crime in the Towson area has been declining for several years," Johnson said.

"Certainly when you have bars and restaurants, you have alcohol and you happen to have someone who happens to have a handgun you have this sort of tragedy that takes place," Johnson said, adding that the shooting incident Sunday is an argument against expanding rights to carry concealed weapons.

"There's campaigns all across Maryland and frankly national campaigns for the right to carry," Johnson said at a Monday news conference calling for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. "This is a great example why that's not a good idea. The guy had half a load on, drinking at a location all night long and he happened to have a handgun permit. He was unlawful. He shouldn't have had that gun at that location. It was only for his business that he owns but yet he chose to pull that out and use it because he felt he was losing ground some how."

Paul Romney December 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Firstly, Stan, it was Police Chief Johnson who made the remark about right to carry. Secondly, I'd like to know how many shootings by nitwits or mass murderers it would take to persuade you to support the sensible and effective regulation of firearms.
Fire Kevin Kamenetz December 18, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Since when do criminal and murders care what laws are in place? Guns are regulated, not every citizen can get one, but any criminal with money can get one. Last year people were buying them downtown at Lexington Market.
Thomas Stone December 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM
We already have more than enough regulations on firearms. Maryland has some of the strictest laws in the country. Most of Maryland's gun crimes are committed by people who aren't allowed to own firearms in the first place. So how are more regulations going to decrease crime. Statistics show that they don't.
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