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Lawsuit Filed in Case of City of Doral Police Department Officers injured in April shooting at Martini Bar

Two police officers with the City of Doral Police Department are suing a local bar, its managing company, a security company and one other after a man was allowed inside the location with a gun.

The shooting happened on April 6, 2024, at the Martini Bar Doral, located at 3450 NW 83rd Ave., Suite 144. The two officers, Andre A. Romo and Ricardo A. Acevedo, were patrolling the area on off-duty detail when a dispute broke out involving 37-year-old Jamal Wayne Wood who entered the bar with a gun. The shooting resulted in the death of a security guard and the injury of seven others, including the two responding officers. Wood was also killed that night by responding officers.

Acevedo and and Romo responded to the scene after seeing the chaos of fleeing patrons. Both officers were injured by the stampede of customers as they tried to get inside to stop Wood’s rampage. Wood aimed and shot at Romo and Acevedeo and the other officers who responded to the scene. Romo was “dangerously close” to being hit and Acevedo was shot in the leg, mere centimeters from his femoral artery, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by Bernardo Pimentel II, a Trial Attorney with Leesfield & Partners, P.A..

Following the shooting, Acevedo has suffered “severely debilitating and permanent injuries,” according to the lawsuit.

Martini Bar Doral, Park Square 5, LLC, Madison Marquette Real Estate Services, LLC, and SFM Security Services, INC., were all named in the lawsuit as breaching their non-delegable duty to keep customers safe including searching people at the door for any kind of weapons. The bar’s primary security guard was absent the night of the shooting and a new security guard, one who did not have proper training, was on duty instead.

A lapse in these checks allowed an armed Wood to escape security’s notice, paving the way for the incident to take place. Following the incident, both Romo and Acevedo continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It is our opinion that the tragic events of that evening were not only preventable but highlight a significant lapse in ensuring the safety of both the bar’s patrons and responding officers,” Pimentel said in a statement released Monday. “Had appropriate security measures been in place, the lives of those present, including Officer Romo and Officer Acevedo, would not have been put in such peril.”

As a police officer, Romo said he and his colleagues face life-threatening dangers daily but those events can be avoided if establishments like Martini Bar take the necessary precautions like what should have been done on April 6, 2024.

“I almost didn’t make it home that day – my wife and kids would have lost me,” Romo said. “I think this would have all been prevented with appropriate security measures, measures I believe Martini Bar Doral knew they should have taken and willfully chose not to.”

As for Acevedo, he counts himself “extremely lucky” to be alive and said that tragic situations like these “can be avoided” with safety measures and checks in place. 

“While our duty as police officers is to protect and serve, our own lives need to be protected as well,” he said. “I believe that has become far too common for establishments, like Martini Bar Doral, to turn a blind eye to the deficiencies in their security, whether to save costs or for whatever other reason.”

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