Punta Gorda police investigating shots fired at Celtic Ray

Published: January 22, 2022 1:36 PM EST
Updated: January 22, 2022 10:27 PM EST

Police are investigating a report of someone shooting at the Celtic Ray Public House, an Irish pub in Punta Gorda, that occurred just before midnight Friday.

According to a public information officer, a disturbance at the restaurant at 145 E Marion Ave led to a patron shooting into the building.

Those shots sent people ducking and crouching to the floor.

The public information officer said it’s an isolated incident, and there is no threat to the public.

WINK News was able to get an up-close look at the damage done to Celtic Ray.

There are now bullet holes across Max Doyle’s office. Doyle is the co-owner of the Celtic Ray.

One of the bullets went flying through a nearby door, hit a monitor, and then hit another wall at the other end of the office.

“A bartender was back there getting supplies, and he missed being there by less than a minute. Maybe less than thirty seconds,” Doyle said.

And there are even more holes on the outside of The Celtic Ray Public House after a man fired multiple shots at the bar.

“It’s definitely something we’re not used to as an establishment. Or as a town,” said Doyle.

According to Doyle, the man was escorted out of the bar shortly before midnight due to his belligerent behavior.

“Bumping people next to him. He was really aggressive with our staff, so he got denied service. And I think that’s what kicked it all off. He was not really happy about that, to say the least,” Doyle said. “So he threatened our bartender, saying that he had something coming for him.”

Shortly after that threat was uttered, was when the shooting began. Witnesses heard multiple shots going off, which sent many, like Jessica Sutton, into survival mode.

“no one was out in the middle. Everyone was against some sort of wall. Trying to use whatever wall as protection,” Sutton said

“It was like a movie or something. Gunshots went off. Everybody hits the ground,” said Sutton.

“He came really close to hitting some people,” Doyle said.

Punta Gorda police would not answer questions about whether anyone was in custody for the shooting or if they are looking for anybody.

Doyle is confident that officers will find the shooter. “That was something really silly to do over something really petty. he was denied service that’s really not something wasting anybody’s life for,” said Doyle.

He believes the shooter was a patron earlier in the night.

WINK News reached out to Punta Gorda PD to ask if the man in the bar’s surveillance video was involved in the shooting, but we have not yet heard back.