Justice Available? Devonte Phillips, Hiyaw Zewdie Identified as Victims in Deadly Denver, Co Bar Shooting.

Devonte Phillips, Hiyaw Zewdie Identified as Victims in Deadly Denver, Co Bar Shooting.

Devonte Phillips, Hiyaw Zewdie Identified as Victims in Deadly Denver, Co Bar Shooting. (Denver.CBSlocal.com)

Could the shooting death at a Denver bar have been prevented and are justice and compensation available to the victims families? Read Our Legal Take below to find out what legal options are available.

Local News

Update: According to 9News.com, “[t]he two who died were identified Tuesday as Devonte Phillips, 24, and Hiyaw Zewdie, 29.”

Gunfire rang out inside a Denver, CO bar early Saturday morning, January 1, 2022, leaving two people dead and two others injured.

As reported by 9News.com, “[t]he Denver Police Department said officers were called to the bar at 19th and Blake streets at around 1:15 a.m. Saturday after three men and a woman were shot inside the business.”

TheDenverChannel.com is reporting, “[t]wo people, a man and a woman, were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other men were transported to the hospital in an unknown condition.”

According to Denver.CBSlocal.com, “[t]he City of Denver has shut down a bar following a deadly shooting on New Year’s Eve. The Cabin Tap House’s licenses have been pulled.”

Westword.com is reporting, “[t]he disruptive and illegal activities associated with the licensed establishment have created an unsafe and hazardous condition, and the continued operation of the establishment in this manner would be a danger to the public health, welfare, and safety of the community. The Director finds that probable cause exists for revocation or suspension of the license.”

The investigation is ongoing.

Our Legal Take


FORMER CLIENT: I had lawyers calling me, and friends telling me who I should hire…I trusted in The Murray Law Firm and I’m glad I did.

Bar patrons have a right to feel safe and secure while on the premises they are visiting. The level of security provided at the bar is of significance, and is a relevant consideration when analyzing whether this shooting may have been prevented.  The following questions are also important in assessing whether this incident may have been avoided:

  • Have prior incidents of violence been reported on or near the property? 
  • Was there any suspicious activity or suspicious people on the property prior to the shooting.
  • Does the bar have a protocol to check for deadly weapons prior to patrons entering the establishment.
  • What security measures, such as bright lighting, visible surveillance cameras, and security personnel, were in place to deter crime and protect the victim at the time of the shooting?

Property owners are generally required to protect against foreseeable harm to anyone and everyone legally on the premises.  Should the investigation into this incident reveal facts that establish that the bar owner or management lacked adequate security to protect its visitors, the families of Devonte Phillips and Hiyaw Zewdie may seek justice and elect to pursue legal claims and substantial compensation for their loss. In addition, any injured victims may seek justice and elect to pursue legal claims and substantial compensation for their injuries.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive and successful experience in handling security negligence claims on behalf of victims and their families, and suggests that an immediate, unbiased inspection of the property will need to be performed so as to limit evidence from being altered, damaged or destroyed.  The complexities of pursuing a negligent security case are well understood by the legal team at The Murray Law Firm, and it is imperative that the families of Devonte Phillips and Hiyaw Zewdie and any injured victims retain a capable law firm who will work without delay to protect their interests.


The Murray Law Firm has a long history of representing victims of violence and security negligence.  We have obtained over $100 Million in verdicts and settlements for our Clients, including a $29.25 million dollar verdict for a victim of an unsafe property. We offer our legal assistance, if desired.

We represent our Clients on a contingency agreement, which generally means that no fees or payments are owed until and unless we recover.  Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us via e-mail (click here) or by telephone at 888.842.1616. Consultations are free and confidential.

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