Lawsuit: Bar overserved gunman before Plano mass shooting

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The families of three victims killed in a mass shooting in Plano are suing the bar that they claim overserved the gunman right before the murders.

Last September, Plano police say Spencer Hight barged into his ex-wife's home on Spring Creek Parkway armed with a pistol, a knife and a semi-automatic handgun. He killed eight people and injured one before a police officer shot and killed him.

Just before the shooting, police say Hight was at the Local Public House. The victims' families are now suing that bar for negligence for overserving Hight, whose blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit.

The families of Darryl Hawkins, Caleb Edwards and James Dunlop are suing for $1 million for funeral expenses and the loss of their children. But one family that spoke to FOX 4 says it's not about the money but rather holding the business accountable.

James Dunlop was 29 years old when he was gunned down in a mass shooting on September 10. He was killed by Hight, whose wedding he served in as best man.

“The saddest thing is the effect he's had on his mother, his brother, and his sister,” said Woody Dunlop, James’ father. “That's what hurts me the most is to look at them and know he's not going to help them or be there when I'm gone.”

The lawsuit filed by Dunlop's parents and other families shows several warning signs leading up to the shooting. The suit states that Hight was stumbling around The Local Public House in the hours beforehand. At one point he “ran into a large picnic table on the patio hard enough to move the table. He staggered back inside and again took a seat at the bar."

According to the lawsuit, the bartender that night kept serving Hight. At one point, he pulled out this knife and a pistol. His behavior so concerning that the bartender, Lindsey Glass, texted another employee, Timothy Banks, for help. She told her coworker that “he just keeps saying he has to put someone in his place. I'm trying to keep him here."

Hight told Banks that he “had something to do tonight.” Banks told Hight he should do those things when he is sober to which Hight responded that he “couldn't do the things he needs to do tonight without being this intoxicated."

Banks then called the bar owner because "he thought something bad was going to happen and asked if he should call the police. Owens told Banks not to call the police."

“In my opinion, Spencer was reaching out almost wanting them to stop him, and they did anything but,” Woody said.

Police say Glass did later follow Hight to the home and called 911 before leaving.

“That's the hardest thing to get over is why they didn't actually think they had to take action,” Woody said.

Glass did not return FOX 4’s calls or text messages for comment. Employees at the Local Public House said they wouldn't be commenting.

According to the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, the bar has had five complaints filed against it since 2013. Violations were found in at least three of those cases, including serving an underage person and intoxicated person.

As of now, the bar's liquor license is current. TABC's investigation into the business is still open. Investigators have turned over their findings to TABC's legal department which will decide if there will be any penalties.