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Owner shutters W.Va. bar after Purple Heart recipient shot

Jakki Van Metre's lawyer said she was not under any suspension or threat to have her license revoked

September 19, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The owner of a sports bar where a 28-year-old man was fatally shot in the parking lot early Sunday surrendered her liquor license Wednesday and will not reopen, her attorney said.

“Because of this incident, they’ve just decided they don’t want to be in the nightclub business anymore,” said attorney Floyd M. “Kin” Sayre III.

Samson Edmond was pronounced dead Sunday at City Hospital in Martinsburg after being shot once in the chest outside The Brick House Bar & Grill at 214 Mid Atlantic Parkway near Martinsburg, according to police who are still investigating the homicide.

Bar owner Jakki Van Metre declined to comment Wednesday and deferred any questions about the decision to close the business to Sayre.

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“She’s really upset,” said Sayre, who indicated he has represented the establishment for a number of years.

Sayre said Van Metre was not under any suspension or threat to have her license revoked and the decision to close came after a family meeting.

The bar closed after the shooting was reported just before 3 a.m. and did not reopen since then, Sayre said.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Gary Harmison said Wednesday investigators hope to speak with witnesses who might have information that is helpful to the investigation.

The shooting happened amid a fight that police have said did not appear to be drug-related.

Edmond’s driver’s license indicated he was from Columbus, Mississippi, but investigators learned he had been working in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Edmond was at the bar with a friend he had served with in Iraq, police have said. A Mississippi National Guard spokesman confirmed Monday that Edmond was injured by an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 with the Mississippi National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery. Edmond was a Purple Heart recipient, according to the National Guard.

Edmond’s death came little more than four years after Kenneth Waybright, 37, of Stephens City, Va., was fatally wounded in a shooting outside the business on July 20, 2008, when it was known as the Orioles Club.

Van Metre was not the owner of the club at the time of the 2008 shooting, Sayre said. The trial for two of three men charged in Waybright’s death is set for March 19.

The fraternal license issued for the Orioles Club was not renewed after it expired June 30, 2009, according to the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration’s online license search.

No one has been charged in the shooting, which is still under investigation.

Anyone who witnessed Sunday’s shooting may contact Deputy William Christian at 304-267-7000 or Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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