Petersburg man murdered in parking lot

Bernie Spratley
Bernie Spratley

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - A fight at a popular bar leads to the shooting death of a Petersburg man. It happened around 1:30 Sunday morning at Le'Venue of Bombay on East Washington Street in Petersburg.

One person has been charged with murder, but police say more people could be involved. Bernie Spratley, 25, died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

He got into a fight with 21-year old Keon Hall while the two were at  Le'Venue. The brawl spilled into the parking lot. Police say it ended when Hall shot Spratley.

A patron at the bar, who asked to remain anonymous, says she heard at least 20 gunshots. She performed CPR on Spratley until EMS arrived.

"My initial thought was why wasn't anybody doing anything for him. He was kind of curled up so I turned him on his back, tilted his head up and started CPR," she said.

Rachel Cole has known the victim for 15 years. She describes him as a loving father and faithful friend.

"He was just out enjoying himself during the long holiday weekend. He lost a brother not to long ago and he was just trying to get over that," said Cole.

The fire marshal's office has shut down Le'Venue of Bombay, stating the business violated it's occupancy load the night of the shooting by having twice as many people inside the building than allowed.

The city is looking to keep the doors at the business closed for good due to numerous violations, including, operating as a night club.

As for the murder of Spratley, investigators are still looking for the murder weapon and say more people, besides Hall, could be connected to the crime.

Loved ones want everyone involved in Spratley's death brought to justice.

A candlelight vigil will be held in memory of Spratley Tuesday evening at  7 p.m.  It will take place at Le'Venue of Bombay which is located at 403 East Washington Street in Petersburg. The public is encouraged to attend.

If you have any information in the murder case of Bernie Spratley, call Crime Solvers anonymously at 861-1212.

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