Hamilton police say they’re now investigating Liquor Licence Act violations at the bar where two people were killed on Sunday.
Homicide detectives say 39-year-old Jahmal Thomas, of Brantford, and 25-year-old Rhonda Homsombath, of Hamilton, died in hospital after both were hit by gunfire in a targeted shooting at a lounge next to Sam’s Tavern.
Detectives did specify why the bar’s licence was under investigation, however, the establishment appeared to still be operating past 2 a.m., according to police.
By law, licenced bars are not permitted to serve alcohol past 2 a.m. in Ontario.
Four people were hit by bullets sometime before 5 a.m. on March 8 at the Urban Lounge on Barton Street just West of Sherman Avenue North, say police.
Investigators believe the victims were previously at Zen Lounge attending a memorial celebration for Carel Douse — who was murdered in Hamilton in May of 2019 — before later joining other patrons at the Barton Street bar.
Detectives say they are working on a theory that Thomas may have been the target with Homsombath and two other men — a 38-year-old and a 29-year-old — being collateral damage in a spray of bullets.
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Police are still looking for the suspected shooter who they believe is a man with a thin build who is about five feet, 10 inches tall and in his early 30s. He also has short braids and was wearing dark jeans or pants and a track suit-style zip-up jacket.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact police at 905-546-3825 or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or online.