Authorities in Texas say a bartender has been arrested on suspicion of serving an intoxicated who then went on to kill eight people and injure a ninth victim in a residential mass shooting last year.
According to WFAA, 32-year-old Spencer James Hight was allegedly intoxicated when he entered a home in Plano and opened fire on a group that included his estranged wife, 27-year-old Meredith Hight.
A subsequent lawsuit named Local Public House, a local bar, and one of its employees for allegedly allowing Hight to leave with a blood alcohol level more than quadruple the legal driving limit.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Meredith Hight cited her husband’s abuse of alcohol as a factor in filing for divorce shortly before her death.
While that initial lawsuit against the pub did not continue to its conclusion, a criminal investigation led to the arrest on Tuesday of bartender Lindsey Megan Glass, who police said was serving Spencer Hight on the night of the shooting. She is expected to face a charge of alcohol sale to a certain person under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code 101.63B.
As for the lawsuit, two attorneys representing some of the victims’ families said dropping it was part of a “strategic move” and that court paperwork would be filed again in the near future.
Brett Stalcup and Dan Garrigan said that the recent arrest “confirms what we’ve believed all along that what they did here was grossly negligent.”
The suit claims Hight was visibly intoxicated when he left the establishment and Stalcup cited the bar’s owner and manager as “two above [Glass] that we feel that are more negligent or criminally responsible than she is.”
Not all of those close to the victims support the development. Meredith Hight’s mother, Debbie Lane, said it “seems unfair” to name Glass as the responsible party.
She said it represented a “waste of resources and will accomplish nothing,” suggesting officials instead focus on “strengthening abused people so they can escape these monsters.”
Glass did allegedly confirm Hight’s erratic behavior — including when he produced a knife at the bar — in a text to a colleague, describing him as “drunk and being weird” while describing his actions.
The other bartender, Timothy Brandt Banks, suggested securing the disruptive customer a ride home, according to the lawsuit.
“Hight told Banks he was having problems with his estranged wife and had something to do ‘tonight,'” the suit claimed. “Banks told Hight that he should do them when he is sober to which Hight responded that he ‘couldn’t do the things he needs to do tonight without being this intoxicated.'”
The Local Public House reached a settlement with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission that resulted in it rescinding its business permit.
A responding police officer fatally shot Spencer Hight after engaging him upon hearing the sound of gunshots, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.
[Featured image: Lindsey Glass, Collin County Sheriff’s Office]