Hookah cafe to undergo rebranding after 'accidental' shooting

Hookah cafe to undergo rebranding after 'accidental' shooting

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A shooting investigation is not a usual site in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville.

Police say name calling and an argument led to Jalen Barbee-Tobin, 23, pulling a gun on an 18-year-old inside Friend's Hookah Cafe on Bardstown Road.

Barbee- Tobin shot the victim in the chest.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Man charged in Highlands hookah cafe shooting

"As soon as he noticed that the gun actually went off you could tell he was in shock," Kamran Kerelaj, the manager of the café said. "He d rops the gun and just jumps to like stop the blood."

Kerelaj is the manager of the cafe. He said Barbee-Tobin and the victim are friends.

"I heard them talking, laughing, joking, no altercation of any sort," Kerelaj said.

Kerelaj said Barbee-Tobin made a bad decision and was careless with the gun.

Weapons and alcohol have never been allowed inside the hookah café.

"Typically we will check everybody, wand them at the door, things like that," Kerelaj said. "That night was slow and everybody here was pretty much all the regulars."

The hookah cafe had another shooting in January of 2017.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Man pleads not guilty to shooting on Bardstown Road

However, the latest incident has forced them into a re-branding process.

They will have tight security, no more dim lighting, and no tolerance. If things don't turn around, they face the threat of closing permanently.

"Where else do 18-year-olds go to have fun at night?" Kerelaj said. "This is one of the places that they go and I want them to be safe when they come here. I was coming here when I was 18. This was my safe place. I want them to have that same feeling."

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