Shooting is latest in struggles for northeast Portland business

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 9:34 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A shooting over the weekend is the latest in a string of challenges facing a northeast Portland business. The Capitol Bar and Lounge at northeast Broadway and 15th had its grand opening less than a year ago.

The Capitol Bar and Lounge is owned by a woman who had initially dreamed of opening the business with her fiance. However, he died last summer while trying to save someone who appeared to be drowning in the Columbia River. She carried on and opened the business on her own but has certainly had her fair share of difficulties.

In recent months a car crashed into the business. Then this past week it was the scene of a shooting.

Dan Fortner was working at a restaurant across the street when just after midnight Sunday morning, people started ducking for cover. A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Fortner decided to head over to the Capitol to help.

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He says there was chaos and that one of the victims in the shooting was lying on the ground outside the bar. He says she had been shot in the upper thigh and that bystanders were applying a tourniquet improperly so he took over and fixed the tourniquet.

Fortner says he stayed with the victim until first responders arrived. He says, while he stayed clear-headed in the moment, shootings like this one take a toll on those who witness them.

They can take a toll on businesses too.

Gio Miguel is a regular customer at the Capitol Bar and Lounge. He hopes the Capitol survives this shooting because he says the bar will be greatly missed if it closes.

“I don’t really go out that much and Capitol is one of the few places that’s kinda broken me out of my shell,” Miguel says.

Police say two women and one man were shot at the bar over the weekend. All three are expected to survive.