ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – The Rocks Bar on Central Avenue in Albany will be reopening Friday night after a shooting that took place Thursday morning.
Owner Peter Hitchcock says he is contacting people who had to leave their stuff inside the bar following the shooting that they can come and pick it up.
The shooting happened after 2 a.m.
When officers arrived, they learned that four people had sustained gunshot wounds while inside the bar. One of the male victims died as a result of his injuries at Albany Med.
The other three victims, one male, and two females, were taken to Albany Med with non-life threatening injuries.
Everything inside the bar is still as it was, cups lined up along the bar and nothing has been touched.
Hitchcock says he awakened by a frantic phone call from his bar manager informing him that four people had just been shot.
“I was in shock when I walked in. By the time I arrived, everything pretty much cleared out. There was a paramedic helping a lady with a wound to her leg.”
One man inside the bar when the shooting happened says he heard bullets ring out and immediately he and friends ducked.
So far, no one has been arrested.
Being that Rocks is known as a gay bar, questions started flooding in whether this was a targeted attack, similar to what happened in Orlando. Both Hitchcock and police say that was not the case at all.
“It wasn’t an attack on the gay community at all. It was a private party being held. It had nothing to do with the LGBT community,” Hitchcock said.
Hitchcock says Rocks is a diverse bar and that the isolated incident happened in the club area where a hip hop promo party was being held. Either way, he says this behavior is not welcome.
“It’s nonsense where someone gets off shooting somebody for what reason?”
The Pride Center issued this statement following the shooting incident:
“On this day of thanks, I have been reminded, once again, how precious our community is. In the early hours of this morning, I received a phone call from the Albany Police Department informing me of a shooting incident that occurred at ROCKS nightclub. Four people were shot, one of which died from their injures. The APD assured me that this was not biased related but a personal issue between the people involved. Regardless, an act of violence happened in one of our community spaces and a life was lost in one of our sanctuaries. I am grateful that Peter, Lance, the staff of ROCKS and other patrons were not injured and that everyone is safe. As a testament to their unbreakable spirit, ROCKS will be open today to welcome our community in for Thanksgiving.
This has been a very trying year, with many obstacles and tragedies that have hit us all, especially in the last few weeks. But I would like to give thanks to this amazing community that always comes together to support each other; to the Pride Center staff, Board of Directors and volunteers that continue to serve our people even in the darkest of times; to our fellow LGBTQ-serving organizations for being true partners in goods times and bad; and to you- for being a part of our family and your continued support!”
While the club side of Rocks is still considered a crime scene, the owner says the bar area with stay open for Thursday’s free Thanksgiving dinner that is hosted every year.
“Come on in and don’t let this deter you. This is always a safe place. We had one isolated incident that is still mind boggling that it happened,” Hitchcock said. “This is Rocks, we’re the family of the neighborhood and community. We always will be and we’re stronger than a bully with a gun.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Albany Police Detective Division at (518) 462-8039.