PITTSBURGH (AP) - Two seriously injured patrons and the parents of a karaoke DJ who was fatally shot have sued a Pittsburgh-area tavern, the convicted gunman who shot up the business, and his mother, who’s in prison for illegally providing the weapon used that night.
The lawsuits filed Wednesday target David Mazzocco, 26, and his mother Gloria Mazzocco, 61, with whom he lived, and the Fort Pitt Inn in Oakdale, the scene of the March 11, 2013, shooting.
They’re being sued by Eleanor and Edward Adams, the parents of slain DJ James Adams, 29, and the men wounded that night, Joseph Quirk III, 32, and Gerald Maroni, 60.
Maroni was shot in the face, shoulder and arm, as he subdued and disarmed David Mazzocco, who was allegedly drunk and under the influence of illegal prescription drugs when he entered the bar distraught over a breakup phone call with his girlfriend.
David Mazzocco was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges and is serving a life sentence. His mother was sentenced to two to six years in state prison in March after she was convicted of illegally giving her son two handguns - including the .45 caliber pistol he used that night - despite knowing he was legally barred from possessing weapons since a February 2006 mental health commitment.
Mazzocco was committed after his mother reported he was drunk and out of control and “kept flicking lit cigarettes toward two gas cans that were covered in loose straw” in their garage, according to Maroni’s lawsuit and criminal court records.
Mazzocco continued to have mental problems, yet his mother kept weapons in the home, and allowed him to also, the lawsuits contend. Among other things, she let him keep a shotgun and AR-15 assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, plus other firearms in a basement gun vault.
“This case should bring home how much damage a gun can do when it’s in the wrong hands,” said Alan Perer, one of Quirk’s attorneys. “It took maybe a minute to ruin three lives.”
Quirk, of Camdenton, Missouri, was shot in the head and is now blind, partially deaf and cannot chew food or control his facial muscles. Maroni still has bullet fragments in his arm and continued pain.
The bar is being sued for allegedly serving Mazzocco after he was visibly intoxicated - including four to six beers plus shots of whiskey - and not doing enough to protect its patrons before and once the shooting started.
Among other things, the lawsuit contends the bartender ran into the ladies’ room and hid without calling police. She also didn’t summon help once Mazzocco’s behavior allegedly became erratic and threatening before the shooting but, instead, allegedly kept serving him.
The bartender allegedly saw that Mazzocco was “agitated” and had bloodied his hand by smashing his cellphone. He used the bar’s phone to call his mother to say he “would not be coming home” moments before going to his vehicle to get several guns, including the .45-caliber pistol, about 12:45 a.m.
“It’s just something that was really tragic,” Robert Hall, the bar’s owner said Wednesday. “That’s all I can say right now.”
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.