By Jen Kastner
ODESSA- A deadly shooting at a sports bar in Odessa is raising some questions. NewsWest 9 has learned that an off-duty Odessa police officer who was supposed to show up at the bar for a shift, never arrived.
The shooting happened Saturday morning in the parking lot of Music City Mall. At approximately 1:30 a.m., Odessa police responded to a call of people refusing to leave the 10 Sports Bar and Grill inside the Mall. While in route, shots were fired and three people were hit.
23-year-old Pablo Jimenez died at the hospital from his injuries. 21-year-old Jesus Garcia has been released from Medical Center Hospital. 19-year-old Jovanie Bernal is still recovering and is listed in fair condition.
24-year-old Baushlyon Richardson is charged with first degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. He turned himself into police on Saturday.
Odessa Police Department is investigating why the off-duty officer never showed up to work at the bar. We're told a manager at the bar contacted police at approximately 9:30 p.m. to notify them the off-duty officer never arrived. Odessa Police sent out some on-duty officers. They reportedly told the bar that finding a replacement off-duty officer would not be possible. The on-duty officers conducted a "walk through" and then left.
The growing number of bars in the Basin is having quite an impact on Odessa Police Department and its officers.
"We have experienced an increase in requests for off-duty [officers],which [leads] to issues because we're spread thin even [with] on-duty [officers] as well as requests for off-duty [officers]. There's been times were we can't fill all the requests," Odessa Police Department Deputy Chief, Lou Orras, said.
Establishments serving alcohol are not required to supply security.
Orras adds, "There is no law that mandates any business, bar included, to have off-duty [officers] or [on-duty] police officers present while they're open."
Odessa Police Department allows businesses to routinely hire off-duty officers for security enforcement. We're told that the on-duty officers called out to do a "walk through" found no illegal activity inside the bar, so they had to left to respond to other calls of a higher priority.
"There are lot of bars in Odessa. We can't police all of those with on-duty resources. Can you imagine? All we would be doing all is night is going from bar to bar," Orras said.
Later on in the early morning, Richardson opened fire in the parking lot just outside of the bar, killing Jimenez and injuring two others. Although Odessa Police Department is investigating why their off-duty officer never showed up, they are still confident that their agency handled the situation well.
"It's still being reviewed but from all the indications I have at [this] time, I am satisfied that we responded correctly," Orras said.
Orras emphasizes that the shooting happened in the parking lot, not inside the bar where the off-duty officer would have likely been placed. The department also wants to stress the point that bar owners have a certain sense of personal responsibility to keep their facilities in-order.
Management at 10 Sports Bar and Grill could not be reached for comment.