Victim calls shooting at Warren bar ‘random’

Little prior police activity reported at University At Larchmont

WARREN — The victims of Friday night’s shooting at the University At Larchmont, 1706 Larchmont Ave. NE, have been identified by police.

Shooting victims are James M. Grabosky, 67, of Rogers Avenue SE, Warren; Corey A. Reeder, 42, Andrews Drive, Warren; and Michael J. Konitsney, 55, Sand Piper Trail, Warren. All three suffered what police described as minor injuries during Friday’s incident at the bar.

Grabosky, 67, said he arrived at the bar around 9:50 p.m. and was waiting for his hamburger order when he heard a volley of gunfire and the glass of the door behind him shatter.

“Everybody hit the ground,” Grabosky said. “After a few moments, I got up because I figured it was drive-by and it was over. That’s when there was a second series of five to six shots.”

It was then Grabosky felt something hit him in the middle of his back.

“I went down,” he said. “I don’t remember much until the ambulance came.”

Grabosky said the bullet that hit him must have ricocheted from another wall.

“They found it next to me,” he said. “It broke the skin because I was bleeding. I was very sore and very lucky. They patched me up, gave me a tetanus shot and sent me home.”

This incident will not stop Grabosky from going back to what he describes as his neighborhood bar.

“I’ve been going there for more than 30 years,” Grabosky said. “I’ve seen it go through different owners and different managements. I’ve always had good service. There have not been problems.

“I believe this was a random incident,” Grabosky said.

On Monday, the bar’s owners posted a message to customers on Facebook: “Due to proactive safety measures, we will not be able to open today. We are working alongside Warren city officials to ensure the safety of our customers and the community.

“We want to thank everyone for your love and support during this difficult time,” the message reads.

Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd Ward, said some of the bar’s neighbors expressed concerns about crowds in the parking lot even before this incident.

Because there was an explosion of some type about two minutes before Friday’s shooting, Novak said an investigation must be done.

“It was an explosion and then the shooting,” Novak said. “There are residents very concerned and afraid. We have to be proactive.”

According to police records, over the past 18 months, there have been a dozen minor calls for service at 1706 Larchmont — the most serious being a fight between three patrons April 4.

Novak said he has not seen the level of complaints at the University At Larchmont that over the years the city experienced with other Warren bars, including the former Powerhouse Bar & Grill, 999 Mahoning Ave.

The Powerhouse closed in 2017 after a fire damaged it. At the time, Novak had been pushing for the city to object to the Powerhouse’s liquor license being renewed because of the number of police and other complaints leveled at the bar. Demolition of the bar began Monday.

Calling Friday’s incident a senseless crime, Warren Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said the business owners have spoken with the administration and police and are collectively working to have it reopen in a safe manner.

“We appreciate the owners’ cooperation and commitment to maintaining a safe and prosperous business going forward,” Cantalamessa said.

Warren Councilman Eddie Colbert, D-at Large, expressed shock about the shooting.

“If you would have asked me about where there would have been a shooting at a Warren area bar, the UAL would have been the last place I would have guessed,” Colbert said. “It is a neighborhood sports bar and grill where everyone knows one another. I’ve taken my wife and kids there to pick up wings.

“My guess is this was an isolated incident,” Colbert said. “The owners take all of the proper measures for safety. They have cameras all over the place.”

The property is owned by MMR Real Estate, according to the Trumbull County Auditor’s Office. It was purchased for $180,000 in 2007.