Elmira residents and business owners have mixed responses to the shooting at Patrick’s on early Thursday morning.
“I was extremely surprised so, it’s a nice neighborhood bar and you don’t expect something like that to happen here,” says Lynn Huggs, a local business owner.
“Unfortunately I’m not surprised, I believe that Elmira is catching up with the world and that it’s a sign of the times,” says Elmira resident Samuel Draper.
Some believe that this area of downtown is up and coming, others think that Elmira is simply suffering from the same problems many towns across the country are also facing.
“I believe that it’s an overwhelming situation and not just for us here in Elmira, it’s all other cities all other towns,” Draper says.
“There’s problems wherever you go, it’s just relating the size of the city to the size of the crime and Elmira is catching up with that,” he says.
While the police continue to investigate, many people are saying they can’t imagine it was regular customer who opened fire in the typically low key neighborhood bar.
“I doubt it very much because usually the small neighborhood bars, they have their regular customers and clientele that come in there,” Huggs says, “It may have been someone from out of town I don’t know I don’t have enough facts.”
But some are worried about how this will affect other investments being made in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood.
“The near west side neighborhood which this is in and is getting better actually,” Draper says.
“Even though this incident happened here, it’s on the upward swing with people moving in and people making significant investments in the neighborhood. That concerns me that that might slow down but that’s a sign of the times and how it goes,” Draper says.
Police have named 27-year old Zecary Banks of Elmira as a person of interest in the investigation, Elmira Police are looking for help locating him.
Banks is 6’1″ 220 lbs and he was last seen wearing a black shirt, light colored shorts and a red baseball cap.
Police also say one person has been released from the hospital. The four other victims are still in the hospital being treated for their injuries. Two of them at Arnot Ogden Medical Center and two at Robert Packer Hospital.
Any witnesses to this shooting or anyone with information about Banks’ possible whereabouts is encouraged to call the Elmira Police Department at (607) 737-5626 or the anonymous tip line at (607) 271-HALT.