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Community rallies for popular Alexandria bartender shot multiple times in DC

James Lee had just finished his shift and stopped at a gas station when he was shot. Police have not caught the suspects.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A community is rallying around a popular bartender who was shot after getting off work in Alexandria earlier this month.

James Lee was on his way home from work when he stopped to get gas in southeast D.C. He would end up in the hospital after being shot multiple times.

The incident happened on March 4 at a Mobile gas station in the 2300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue at around 2:30 a.m.

Police said two people, unknown to the victim, were acting suspiciously and following him at the gas station. Lee was walking when he realized he was shot, according to the incident report.

A GoFundMe created to help support Lee said two young men with guns told him to give up his car. It also said he tried to escape but was shot seven times. He managed to drive away and call 911 before he passed out.

“I couldn't stop crying because someone I knew for so long was hurt,” his friend Dominic Moore-Vereen told WUSA9. “He is a very integral part of my life. I thought I lost a good friend.”

Lee is the bar manager at Mason Social in Old Town Alexandria and a father of a 2-year-old boy.

Moore-Vereen, who is a bartender at Auggie’s Mussel House and Beer Garden, started the GoFundMe. In about two weeks, it already raised more than $61,000.

Mason Social Owner Chad Sparrow said the outpouring of support reflects who Lee is to the community.

Credit: Leading DC

“He touched a lot of people,” Sparrow said. “He’s the greatest guy. So many people know him.”

“He's a really good dude,” Moore-Vereen added. “He never talked bad about anyone. He just wants to bring joy and positivity to the world.”

Members of the restaurant and bar scene in Alexandria recently held an event to raise money for Lee at Chadwicks.

Adris Tabibi, Chadwicks bartender and friend, contributed all of his tips to the cause.

“Hearing the news of the attack on James affected us all in Old Town,” Tabibi said. “As friends started and helped out the GoFundMe, I felt the best way to get people to contribute more was to bring everyone together. As a father and someone in this industry, I know how hard it is when you aren’t working. I never thought I would work a night and make close to $8,000, let alone be blessed enough to help a friend with it and have other friends in Alexandria show their support by matching my contribution. It’s a blessing to be a part of this community and help a brother of ours when we can.”

DC Police said the shooting is still under investigation. They have not caught the suspects.


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