‘We all just hit the ground’: San Marcos bar owner says two of his staff were shot

Hays

Police: 2 shot in shooting outside San Marcos bar during holiday party

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — San Marcos Police are searching for a man they say shot two people outside a bar at the Square in San Marcos early Tuesday morning.

Police scene after shooting at Harper's
Shooting at Harper’s bar in San Marcos reportedly left two people with injuries. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

Witnesses tell KXAN they heard multiple gunshots around 1 a.m. outside of Harper’s bar. Police say witnesses told them about hearing between 5 and 7 shots. Witnesses said two people standing outside were shot by a man parked in the 100 block of North LBJ Drive. That person then left the scene and headed east on Hopkins Street in a silver SUV. Police say they do not know if the shooting was targeted or random.

San Marcos police say both victims were shot in the arm and one of them was grazed on their torso. They were taken to a Kyle hospital and have since been released. The bar owner, Sean Neal told KXAN both victims were employees.

Neal says there were about 200 people inside the bar at the time for a private holiday party for employees from all five of his bars and their loved ones.

“Every Monday after graduation weekend,” Neal says.

This year, that party was cut short by the gunshots.

“We all just hit the ground, we didn’t know what was going on,” Neal says.

Harper’s is located at 139 East Hopkins Street by the intersection with North LBJ Drive.

Neal says the shots rang out shortly after a staff member turned away some people who tried to get into the private party.

Two of his own were hit.

“We saw blood from two of my staff members. One of my door guys and one of my bartenders got hit in the arm, chest,” Neal says.

Both employees are expected to be OK.

Our photographer on the scene shot video of windows shattered by the gunfire. Police say there was minor damage inside, as well.

  • San Marcos shooting Harper's
  • Shattered window after shooting at Harper's
  • Picture of sign showing Harper's closed for holiday party

Police are talking to witnesses and working to gather any surveillance video from nearby businesses. Anyone with information about the shooting or the suspect can call Detective David Campbell at 512-753-2312 or email him at dcampbell@sanmarcostx.com.

Reaction to shooting

Hayley Everts lives and works nearby.

“I was just here two nights ago. I was at Taproom, I was at Stonewall, right next door,” she says.

Everts works at The Lodge apartments and says the overnight incident has already sparked discussions of how to increase security on their property.

“We’re going to be trying to instill some safety measures now. That was our first priority when we heard that,” Everts says.

The recent Texas State graduate says a shooting in the middle of Downtown San Marcos leaves her uneasy.

“We’re right in the middle of the square, essentially, so the fact that it happened so close to home I think is going to be concerning,” she says.

Everts says she’s in the area frequently but will now think twice.

“It definitely is going to impact my feeling that I can just go to the square and get a lift home or something,” she says.

The incident shocks Neal, too, who has been bar-tending in the city since 2001.

“It’s scary. I mean, a small town, it’s not something we’re used to here. We’re not Austin, we’re not San Antonio,” he says.

He’s still shaken up but is glad his employees are recovering.

“Don’t shoot my staff, shoot me,” Neal says.

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