Police investigate liquor licence violations at Hamilton bar where two died in shooting

Hamilton police say they’re now investigating Liquor Licence Act violations at the bar where two people were killed on Sunday.

Homicide detectives say 39-year-old Jahmal Thomas, of Brantford, and 25-year-old Rhonda Homsombath, of Hamilton, died in hospital after both were hit by gunfire in a targeted shooting at a lounge next to Sam’s Tavern.

Detectives did specify why the bar’s licence was under investigation, however, the establishment appeared to still be operating past 2 a.m., according to police.

By law, licenced bars are not permitted to serve alcohol past 2 a.m. in Ontario.

Four people were hit by bullets sometime before 5 a.m. on March 8 at the Urban Lounge on Barton Street just West of Sherman Avenue North, say police.

Investigators believe the victims were previously at Zen Lounge attending a memorial celebration for Carel Douse — who was murdered in Hamilton in May of 2019 — before later joining other patrons at the Barton Street bar.

Detectives say they are working on a theory that Thomas may have been the target with Homsombath and two other men — a 38-year-old and a 29-year-old — being collateral damage in a spray of bullets.

Police are still looking for the suspected shooter who they believe is a man with a thin build who is about five feet, 10 inches tall and in his early 30s. He also has short braids and was wearing dark jeans or pants and a track suit-style zip-up jacket.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact police at 905-546-3825 or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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