Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 17, 2023
Man convicted for role in Lazy River Lounge shooting incident
A 23-year-old Zanesville man who brought a gun into the Lazy River Lounge the night of a shooting in August was convicted of inducing panic and illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premise Thursday afternoon.
Elijah Striblin pleaded no contest to the charges.
According to detectives, friends of Striblin’s admitted that the defendant entered the bar with a handgun in his waistband. Video evidence obtained from the bar showed Striblin purchasing and consuming alcohol.
Around 2 a.m., a gang member from Columbus, as confirmed by the Columbus Police Department, and Striblin became involved in a physical altercation in the bar’s bathroom. The Columbus man was shot in the neck but survived.
“There’s competing narratives as to what actually happened in that bathroom,” Assistant Prosecutor John Litle said in court.
Based on statements from the victim and witnesses, the victim was rolling a blunt at the sink. Words were exchanged between the two, and the situation became violent. Several witnesses saw Striblin’s firearm on the floor. The victim indicated that Striblin picked up the gun and shot him. Other witnesses claimed that the Columbus man had Striblin in a headlock at the time Striblin shot the man.
The Columbus man refused to cooperate with law enforcement, resulting in a material witness warrant being issued for his arrest.
A material witness warrant occurs when a necessary party in a court case refuses to appear to testify. After being arrested, such a person can be released on bond with the requirement to appear or can be held in jail until trial.
The front camera of the bar captured Striblin with the handgun still in his hand as he left the scene.
“Striblin will be appealing, arguing that he has a right to carry a firearm in a bar pursuant to the Second Amendment,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Litle after the plea. “This case actually involves a combination of three factors which almost always lead to violence: persons who refuse to cooperate with law enforcement, drugs and illegally carried firearms.”
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