Man shot twice outside of Somerset Street bar

A man was shot early Friday morning outside of the Vibe Bistro & Lounge, and the Ottawa police guns and gangs unit is investigating.

Victim, 22, is a known gang associate, police say

Gentrifying neighbourhood says nightclub has brought trouble to their area. 2:54

The Ottawa police guns and gangs unit is investigating after a man was shot early Friday morning outside of the Vibe Bistro & Lounge in Hintonburg.

It happened at about 2:30 a.m. at 1066 Somerset St. W, at the corner of Bayswater Avenue. The shots were fired outside on Vibe property, police said.

At the scene, arriving officers found two shell casings and no victim. Several vehicles were leaving the scene, and police aren't yet sure if any of the people inside were involved.

"I could hear two distinct loud noises that sounded like gunshots, pretty sharp and pretty fast," said Tony Lai, who lives nearby.

"I saw a lot of commotion, not necessarily anybody rushing to help anyone, a lot of it was more agruments in certain spots and there were cars rushing to leave."

Soon after arriving, investigators were told that a 22-year-old man had been driven to The Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus with two gunshot wounds, and that the driver then left.

Victim a known gang associate, police say

The victim had been shot in the shoulder and abdomen, police said, and was in stable condition. His injuries aren't life-threatening.

Ottawa police investigate a shooting outside the Vibe Bistro & Lounge early Friday morning. (CBC)

The victim was interviewed at the hospital, police said. He said he had been outside smoking a cigarette when he was shot twice, and that he didn't know anything more about it.

The victim is a known gang associate and is not co-operating with the investigation, police said.

"There's not full co-operation, we're getting limited information at this time and that is why we're hoping members of the community who were there will give us a call and provide a little more information for us," said Staff Sgt. Mark Patterson of Ottawa police.

At the scene later Friday morning, Vibe server Azad Gonyi told CBC News the shooting happened when the bar was closed. He said he heard two loud bangs, then saw a group of about 15 people running away.

He said the shooting had nothing to do with Vibe, which serves pizza and shawarma during the day before changing into a shisha bar at night.

Police were interviewing witnesses and also spoke to staff at the bar.

This is the city's 19th shooting of the year.

Community association set conditions for bar's opening

The area of the shooting had problems with prostitution a few years ago but has been gentrifying, attracting new businesses and residents.

Vibe opened about a year ago, moving from Preston Street where it faced a number of issues.

Jeff Leiper, head of the Hintonburg Community Association, told CBC News the business had to agree to a number of conditions before it was allowed to move to his neighbourhood.

"We had anticipated problems," he said.

Under terms of their licence, the bar was required to have two security guards on hand from 9 p.m. to close Sunday to Thursday.

They were required to have three guards on hand, who couldn't be doing any other job such as serving, from 9 p.m. until close on Friday and Saturday.

Leiper said the bar also had to have security cameras with footage that would be stored for 30 days and could be viewed by police.

He said his association has asked the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to look into what happened and see if those terms were breached.

"If there proves to have been some connection with the bar (to the shooting), we would like the bar shut down," Leiper said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the guns and gangs unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5050, or call Crime Stoppers at 613-233-TIPS (8477).