Shooting at Five Points bar injures employee, police say


A shooting at a bar in Columbia’s Five Points early Saturday morning left a bar employee injured, police said.

Jonathan Alexander Amal Wise, 21, of Columbia has been arrested and charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, Columbia Police said. County records show Wise is being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, and his bond has been denied.

According to police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons, the incident happened at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday at Jake’s bar in the 2100 block of Devine Street. Wise was being unruly in the bar and was asked to leave, she said. As he was being asked to leave, he fired a shot that hit a bar manager in the lower body, Timmons said. The injury was not thought to be life-threatening, per the police spokeswoman.

Wise reportedly ran, and was arrested a short time later about two blocks away.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation said the manager was Geoffrey Sears, a longtime employee and the brother of the bar’s owner, Jon Sears. FITSNews first reported Saturday morning that Sears was the victim in the case.

Joe McCulloch, an attorney and spokesman for Jake’s, said Saturday he had reviewed video of the incident and noted Wise had only been in the bar for five or 10 minutes before becoming unruly and being asked to leave by bouncers. He said the suspect fired a shot a short time later. The manager, who was off to the side observing the situation, was struck with a bullet.

The victim was still in the hospital as of Saturday afternoon, McCulloch said.

The attorney noted Jake’s has a reputation as a safe establishment, and that the shooting there was an anomaly.

“This is tantamount to a 9mm lightning strike,” McCulloch said. “It could have happened anywhere in the city, in front of the State House or anywhere else. It has nothing to do with Five Points, it has nothing to do with the establishment, but it has everything to do with the availability of guns … and the devaluation of life.”

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