FLORISSANT, Missouri — A Missouri father of three was senselessly shot to death after a dumb argument at a bar over the weight of dog turned violent, police and witnesses said.
Scott Beary’s death dealt a double-blow to his family coming five days after they had buried a daughter who was born prematurely and died after just two weeks.
And so far, the gunman has been allowed to go free because the state’s “stand your ground” laws have complicated matters for prosecutors.
The deadly turn of events occured when Beary, 43, had stopped in Show Me’s Sports Bar and Grill in Florissant with a pal last Wednesday after getting off work, police said.
Beary, who was described by friends as “a big, lovable guy,” got into a conversation with some other patrons. The mood turned when one of the men boasted that he had a German shepard that weighed 290 pounds and Beary expressed disbelief, witnesses told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I know, it sounds ridiculous,” witness Carl Leavy said. “[Beary] said, ‘I’m 325 pounds, I can’t even fathom a dog as big as I am,’
The man insisted Beary go out to his car where the dog was to see for himself, but Beary then took a phone call and never left the bar, witnesses said.
The dog owner and his pal — who witnesses say pulled the gun — went outside and soon returned in an “agitated” mood. As the bartender sought to usher them out, Beary went to settle his tab and tried to calm things down by saying “no hard feelings.”
The gunman then called Beary a “fat fuck,” Leavy said. Beary turned back towards the man, who pulled out a gun and shot Beary in the chest. Another man, Ryan Jacobsmeyer, was also wounded.
Other patrons managed to disarm the gunman and held him until police arrived. The 54-year-old man was initially taken into custody, but was released on Friday. Prosecutors say they were unable to immediately charge him due to the state’s “stand-your-ground” laws. The investigation is ongoing, however, and charges may still be filed.
His name has not been released by police because he has not been charged.
Beary, who worked as a construction worker for a firm that did emergency repairs in disaster zones following hurricanes and tornadoes, leaves behind his wife and three teenage children.