Jury: Strip club bouncer justified in shooting

Jury: Strip club bouncer justified in shooting

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 31 at 5:27 PM

PORTLAND – A grand jury ruled a bouncer did not commit a crime when he shot the gunman who opened fire and shot three people inside the Mystic Gentleman's Club.

The announcement was made Friday morning that the use of deadly force by bouncer Jonathan Baer was justified.

Thomas Elliott Hjelmeland, 43, opened fire in the club at Southeast Stark Street and Southeast 99th Avenue just before 9 p.m. Jan. 11, according to Portland police.

More: Bouncer says he followed Mystic gunman outside, shot him

Owners of the strip club said Hjelmeland was denied entry because of belligerent behavior and racist comments. He then returned half an hour later armed with a gun and wearing a scary Halloween mask.

One of the club's bouncers, 26-year-old Brian Rizzo, was critically injured when he was hit by three rounds at the front door. He remained in critical condition Friday.

Customer Gonzalo Zamora-Hernandez, 31, and waitress Nichole D. Procter, 27, were treated and released with less serious injuries.

Baer followed the gunman outside and shot him. Hjelmeland died several days later. Baer has a valid Oregon concealed handgun permit, police said.

Hjelmeland was armed with a revolver. He had a number of bullets in several bags in his car, including magazines for a semi-automatic Glock handgun, police said.

It was unclear why he had the magazines, but there were 10 of them each holding 31 rounds, for a Glock. Some were taped together to allow rapid reloading, police said. No Glock was found in the investigation.

Plastic bags with three types of rounds, .38, .357, and .38 buckshot were found in the car, police said. A second Halloween mask was also found in his car.

A fundraiser for Rizzo will be Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. at the Bossanova Ballroom, 722 East Burnside Street. Donations to the Brian Rizzo Donation Fund can be made at any Well Fargo branch.

In July of 2012, a man was shot and killed in the parking lot of the same strip club. Three people were arrested in the death.

More: 3 arrested in deadly Portland club shooting

The Mystic Gentleman's Club shares a building and address with Falco's Pub, a nightclub where a woman met her suspected killers in October. Tiffany Jenks, 35, was found murdered at Fairview's Blue Lake Park and three people were arrested in connection with her death.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission said they would be renewing the Mystic Gentleman’s Club's license. 


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