This weekend a mosh pit altercation escalated drastically, resulting in a shooting outside the Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar early Saturday morning. Police said the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. after a punk rock show by Lower Class Brats and Complete Control. According to the police report, a man drove up to the victim, Eric Scheese, outside the bar to express his displeasure about the Scheese “pushing his girlfriend while they were in the mosh pit.” Witnesses stated that Scheese repeatedly apologized to the woman and walked away, while the boyfriend continued arguing. As the car drove away shots were fired; Scheese was hit in the chest and collapsed in the street. The victim was rushed to Brooke Army Medical Center in critical condition. It’s rumored that his condition has since been upgraded to stable, but the hospital refused to confirm his status. A suspect still has not been named.
While the police report doesn’t describe what happened inside the club preceding the shooting, Rock Bottom promoter Angel Castorena said that the girl involved in the incident was in the pit during the show, seemingly of her own accord, where she got knocked over and began fighting with a male who wasn’t the victim. She was thrown out of the club by security for fighting, and she remained outside until the end of the show. Castorena said the girl’s friends began to get riled up as they waited for the victim to exit the club, when the argument that led to the shooting ensued.
“I’ll be honest. I never expected it,” said Castorena, who has been a promoter within the local music scene for more than eight years. “It was no different from any other incident of me throwing somebody out [for fighting]. I know [the girl’s] face, and have seen her [at shows] off and on for probably about five or six years.” Castorena went on to say that the victim is also a regular at local shows, and that the audience at the club was a typical one. Rock Bottom will host a benefit for Scheese within the next few weeks.
I’m also a regular at local punk, metal, and hardcore shows, and the mosh pit is a predictable (and easy to navigate) aspect of shows involving hard music. The first and only pit rule (duh): if you don’t want to be hit, shoved, or thrown around, get the fuck out of the way! Whether you’re a guy or a girl, pay attention if you’re standing near moshers — you’re gonna end up on the cement if you don’t. These people aren’t out here to hurt you; they’re here to enjoy the music, let off some steam, and pick each other up when the show’s over. I’m sad, San Antonio, sad that we have to tell you, of all cities, how the pit works.
I feel that this was an isolated incident. I frequent the majority of our city’s live music venues, and I’ve never felt threatened or concerned for my safety while enjoying live music in our scene. Rock Bottom doesn’t deserve the rap of being “the place there was a shooting last week”— the rare incident could have happened anywhere, but it shouldn’t have happened at all. And this brings about the larger issue here: someone brought a gun to a live, local show in San Antonio, and didn’t hesitate to use it on another person after a trivial disagreement. Should anyone have to worry about who’s carrying a gun next time they’re in the mosh pit? Does an accidental bump warrant a shooting? Those within San Antonio’s music scene have always considered one another family — it’s time we reverted back to taking care of one another in an effort to unite our scene.