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Published: Sunday, 10/25/2009

Arrest warrants issued for 2 men in West Toledo bar shootout


Toledo police said Friday that they've issued arrest warrants for two men — one who was an employee at the bar where a gunfight occurred last week — for their alleged involvement in the incident.

Marquese Robbins, 32, whose last known address is 1103 Norwood Ave., was charged with four counts of felonious assault for firing a gun within the Route 66 Bar and Grill in West Toledo. A known member of the Lucas County Gang, or LCG, Robbins has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1998, police said.

Also charged was Lashon Sawyer, 38, who worked as a cook in the bar. Mr. Sawyer, who has no previous criminal record, is charged with discharging a firearm in the city limits, a misdemeanor, and with having a firearm in a liquor permit premises, a felony.

A sign outside the Route 66 Bar and Grill has what appears to be a bullet hole under the word 'enter.' A sign outside the Route 66 Bar and Grill has what appears to be a bullet hole under the word 'enter.'
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

As of late Friday afternoon, both men had warrants issued for their arrest but neither had been taken into police custody.

Aired frequently both locally and nationally, a video of the midnight shooting at Route 66 on Westwood Avenue shows how a physical altercation between bar employees and a patron escalated into a lengthy shootout. Despite about 20 shots being fired by four guns, no one was injured during the incident.

Detective Shelli Kilburn, who was the lead investigator, said the altercation began when patrons and the bartender saw Robbins apparently attempt to sell drugs in the bar. She said that after he continued to conduct his business, even after being asked to leave, the bar's bouncer approached him.

"When the security attempted to control him enough to take him outside, the individuals who were with him, which were several buddies, jumped on the back of the security guard. There was the scuffle that ensued and he pushed them out the door," the detective said.

"Once outside, one of his buddies actually retrieved a handgun from his waistband, he had two guns on him, he gave one to the main shooter and that's when he went back up into the bar to actually attempt to shoot the security guard," she said.

Detective Kilburn said that while Mr. Sawyer had a right to defend himself, his actions that night escalated the situation.

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