Gravely wounded bartender dies

BOSTON -- A bartender who was shot twice in the head as he attempted to calm a gun-toting patron in a nightclub died from his wounds Monday, hospital officials said.

Abel Harris, Jr., 24, was shot at 1:30 a.m. Aug. 1 at Bunratty's, a popular nightspot in the city's Allston section, by a man who had been thrown out of the bar hours earlier for harassing customers.


Police said when the man returned to the club, he fired three rounds into the ceiling with a .22-caliber handgun. Witnesses told police Harris then hurdled a bar and tried to calm the suspect, who shot the bartender twice in the head.

Harris died at St. Elizabeth's Hospital at 4:17 p.m. Monday, officials said.

Close to 200 people inside the bar scattered when the shots were fired. After the shooting, the suspect ran out the nightclub's front door and escaped with an unidentified female companion.

The suspect, James Wallace, 30, of Quincy was arrested Friday in Salina, Kansas, and charged with suspicion of burglary, car theft and damage to private property stemming from incidents relating to his flight from Massachusetts last week.

Wallace signed extradition papers Monday and was ordered held at the county jail near Salina pending the arrival of Massachusetts Parole Board authorities.


The suspect will be charged with the bartender's murder in Brighton District Court after his extradition to Massachusetts, expected sometime later this week, police said.

Wallace is on parole from the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction in Walpole, where he had served time for breaking and entering, larceny and rape.

Benefit concerts, featuring local bands, were planned for Monday and Wednesday at Bunratty's, and Tuesday at the Metro in Kenmore Square, to raise money to defray Harris medical expenses.

Bunratty's officials said the benefits would go on as scheduled.

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