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Suspect Charged after Threatening Gay Bar Employee, Patron with Gun

Friday December 2, 2022

Conell Walter Harris
Conell Walter Harris  (Source:Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

A 31-year-old Minneapolis man faces charges, including a federal gun charge, after threatening a bartender and a patron at a historic gay establishment in the city, according to local ABC affiliate KAKE.

The news channel identified the suspect as Conell Walter Harris, and recounted that Harris entered Bar 19 — a historic establishment, being the city's oldest gay bar — at around 11 p.m. on Nov. 28.

CBS Minnesota reported that Harris was seen to be "acting strangely," according to the charging document.

Harris became confrontational after an employee asked to see his ID, Minnestoa Public Radio News said. A bartender then interceded, telling Harris to leave, but KAKE reported that Harris pulled a gun and declared, "I ain't going nowhere."

A bar patron tried to defuse the situation, reports said, and Harris started hurling threats, profanity, and anti-LGBTQ+ slurs. "Watch what the fuck you're saying," Harris reportedly admonished the bartender and the patron, adding: "I'm going to fuck you up."

Harris then left the bar on his own accord, but not before threatening the bartender with: "I'll fucking kill your dyke ass."

Harris returned shortly afterwards, though, and began playing pool. When police arrived they took him into custody — but not before Harris allegedly made repeated motions to reach into a pocket. Police found the gun on his person, MPR detailed, and he's now been "charged with making violent threats and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm," MPR said.

"Federal prosecutors also charged Harris with illegal gun possession, and a judge ordered that he remain jailed," the MPR account added.

MPR also noted that the incident took place "less than two weeks after a gunman killed five people and injured at least 25 others at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colo."