• A man opened fire at a Dallas bar enforcing COVID-19 guidelines after he was denied entry
  • The man shot three armed patrons who were trying to prevent him from entering
  • The shooting comes amid increasing COVID-19 cases, violence over restrictions

The Dallas Police Department is tracking down a man who opened fire with an assault rifle Saturday evening at the Knockout Sports Bar Downtown over the establishment's COVID-19 policies.

Three men were wounded in the gunfight and a woman was injured by shrapnel. One of the wounded men is in critical condition.

The Riverfront Boulevard bar had only reopened Saturday after a lengthy shutdown due to COVID-19. DPD officials said the shooting erupted before midnight after the bar's lone bouncer denied entry to three men because the bar was at full capacity. Allowing the three men in would have been in violation of the city's COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

The bar's spokesperson said the bouncer was doing temperature checks on incoming customers at the entrance in accordance to state guidelines. After the bouncer denied entry to the three men for capacity reasons, a scuffle ensued and the bouncer locked the bar's doors to prevent the group from entering.

Witnesses said the shooter went back to his sport car, took an assault rifle from the trunk, walked back to the bar and opened fire at the building.

“And so they pushed him out of the restaurant and locked the doors and he went into his car and he just started spraying the place,” said Micaela Dartson, who was inside the bar, to Fox News.

“There’s gunfire and glass flying everywhere and we all hit the floor,” she said. “You can tell it was an assault rifle. I mean, there was so many shots, it was unbelievable.”

The first burst of gunfire injured a woman inside a bar. She was reportedly struck by splinters hurled outwards as bullets struck the building.

DPD said the shooter tried to enter the bar by the back door but was blocked and "confronted by armed patrons." A shootout ensued. The shooter fled after hitting three men and before police arrived.

The gunfight resulted in one man being critically injured, another shot in the arm, and another suffering non-life threatening injuries from a gunshot wound. The shooter remains at large.

The shooting erupted even as Dallas continues to grapple with a surge in COVID-19 cases. Dallas County reported 800 new coronavirus cases Sunday and one death. Dallas County has seen a total of 46,813 confirmed cases, or 17.8 for every 1,000 residents.

On Sunday, there were 5,810 new cases and 153 new deaths statewide. More than 10,000 people with confirmed cases are in Texas hospitals as of Sunday. Sunday also saw Texas surpass 5,000 COVID-19 deaths to hit 5,038.