PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - A survivor of the shooting at a Fort Lauderdale Blue Martini bar said the man who pulled the trigger needs to be held accountable.
Andrew Cooks has been recovering from the deadly incident that took place just before midnight on May 9.
“I’m good. A little sore,” said Cooks. “I had an injury to my lower bowel, where they had to cut and sew it back together. It was an exit wound.”
He was shot in the stomach that night while he was with a group of friends celebrating the life of a loved one who had passed away from cancer just a month prior.
Cooks’ wife and attorneys joined him on Wednesday morning as he addressed the media.
Forty-four-year-old Arnold Person was the man who was fatally shot and killed at the club. Witnesses said he may have bumped into 52-year-old retired Drug Enforcement Agency agent Andre Clark, who was identified as the shooter.
“Not only did he take the life of Arnold, but he put everybody’s — everyone who was there, their lives were in danger and in jeopardy,” said Marrwan Porter, Cooks’ attorney.
“It is illegal for even retired law enforcement to have a firearm in an establishment, a bar where alcohol is being served,” added Porter.
Authorities said Clark has been cooperating with investigators but has not yet been charged.
“Arnold never started trouble or was at any conflict with anyone,” said Cooks. “Why was he at an establishment like that with a firearm?”
Fort Lauderdale Police released a statement that read, “As part of the investigation, our detectives are looking into what occurred prior to the shooting. We are also in contact with the DEA regarding Mr. Clark’s employment status and firearm records.”
The family of Clark said he may have raised his shirt to show he was armed with a gun before pulling it out.
“Several people said the guy pulled up his shirt and showed my brother the gun,” said Natasha Cooks, whose brother was killed.
Clark has claimed self-defense but Cooks wants him to be held accountable, as he recalled the events that unfolded that night.
“They were in a brief discussion, I don’t know what words were being said because we were right where the drummer was, so you really couldn’t hear anything going on,” said Cooks, “but that’s when Arnold grabbed this guy’s arms, and they were up against the bar. Mind you, there’s a lot of people at the bar. They lost balance, fell to the right, and that’s when the first shot went off.”
He said he saw the muzzle fire from the gun, and “that’s when I realized I was hit.”
Cooks had to get part of his bowel removed during his recovery.
Because Clark is a former DEA agent, Fort Lauderdale Police may need to turn over all their evidence to the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, who would then determine if any charges will be filed.
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