A man was shot twice outside of a Midtown gay bar Monday night after the suspect harassed him and a group of friends, panhandled for money, made sexual advances and ordered them to take off their clothes.
The shooting victim remains hospitalized with serious injuries. He is on a breathing tube and had a portion of his kidney removed, a friend and witness told WSB.
"I was begging for him not to shoot," the unidentified man said.
The incident unfolded on Monday as a group of five friends gathered at Bulldogs on Peachtree Street to unwind after work. The suspect tried to talk with them as they approached the bar and then followed them inside, according to WSB.
"The guy was lurking around us," the witness told WSB. "One of my friends said hey let's leave, I've got a bad feeling."
But the suspect followed the group as they walked to a nearby parking deck and continued harassing them.
"He started yelling obscenities, such as 'Hey, which one is with who? I wanna have sex with one of you guys.' He then screamed that he was homeless and that he wanted to know if one of us could give him some money," the witness told WSB.
The shooting victim gave the man $5, according to Atlanta police, but that only enraged the suspect. He brandished a gun, which prompted all but two of the friends to run. The suspect then ordered the victim and the witness to undress.
That's when the witness fled but the suspect shot twice, striking the victim in the back, the man told WSB.
"He literally pulled up his shirt and pulled out a gun," the friend said.
Atlanta police told Project Q Atlanta on Thursday that investigators are working to identify the suspect. No one has been arrested. An official with Bulldogs declined to comment about the incident.
UPDATE | Atlanta police arrested Elijah Payton and charged him with two shootings in Midtown, including the Oct. 9 incident that involved patron from Bulldogs.