A man has been arrested in connection with a shooting at a Venice bar that began as a argument between strangers over something petty, police said Thursday.
Robert Lee Mewhorter, 46, was arrested Thursday across the street from the Surfside bar at 23 Windward Ave., where the shooting occurred Wednesday, said Lt. Randy Goddard with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Officials said the man who was shot was in critical but stable condition on Thursday morning, and friends told KTLA he was expected to survive. The victim's name has not been released.
Police were in the process of interviewing Mewhorter Thursday night and said he told investigators that he felt disrespected by something the victim said.
“Those few words spilled over to a physical altercation between the victim and suspect,” Goddard said.
Cellphone video from the scene shows the men being escorted from the bar, and one of them is clearly brandishing a handgun. Eventually, nine shots are heard ringing out as bystanders scream and run for cover.
LAPD had detained people at the scene but later released them. After searching further, they found Mewhorter across the street from the crime scene.
“He is homeless; he was down in the same area where the shooting occurred," Goddard said.
A firearm, however, has still not been recovered, police said.
Goddard said he expects Mewhorter to be charged with attempted murder in an incident that should not have escalated that far.
“That’s the sad thing about it," he said. "You have two people in a bar, having some drinks, and one person feels disrespected over some words that another person said. Over simple words, this turns into a shooting where somebody could have lost their life.”